Автор Salo, 12.10.2009 02:02:17
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Цитата0100 GMT (8:00 p.m. EST Sat.)NEW LAUNCH TIME. Liftoff has been retargeted for 8:30 p.m. EST.
Цитата0104 GMT (8:04 p.m. EST Sat.)To recap, the countdown is holding at the T-minus 5 minute mark while engineers assess the wind conditions in the atmosphere that the Delta 4 rocket will fly through tonight. Concerns about those upper level winds have delayed liftoff twice so far, scrapping target launch times of 7:23 and 8:00 p.m. EST. The team is expecting the next flight data file based upon the newer weather balloon information to be ready for transmission to the rocket around 8:15 p.m. EST. If the conditions aloft are deemed improved and acceptable, the launch will occur at 8:30 p.m. EST. The last moment that launch could happen tonight is 8:47 p.m. EST. That is when the window closes for today.0107 GMT (8:07 p.m. EST Sat.)NEW LAUNCH TIME. Liftoff has delayed to 8:37 p.m. EST. There was a problem with one of the weather balloons that has added some time before the next data will be available.
ЦитатаNEW LAUNCH TIME. Liftoff is being targeted for the very end of today's launch window at 8:47 p.m. EST. That is because there was a problem transmitting latest weather balloon data to engineers in Denver. The time to re-send the info will push back when the flight data will be ready.
Цитата0128 GMT (8:28 p.m. EST Sat.)The launch team will be re-polled at 8:37 p.m. to verify systems remain ready for liftoff once the winds are declared acceptable. There won't be any additional margin to delay liftoff tonight. The window closes at 8:47 p.m. EST.
Цитата0142 GMT (8:42 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 5 minutes and counting! The final phase of today's countdown has commenced for launch of the Delta 4 rocket carrying the Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft. Liftoff is set to occur at 8:47 p.m. EST (0147 GMT) from pad 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. 0141 GMT (8:41 p.m. EST Sat.)The launch director has given approval given to resume the count for liftoff at 8:47 p.m. EST. The winds aloft declared "go" for launch! 0139 GMT (8:39 p.m. EST Sat.)Here's a look at some stats about today's mission. This will be: The 346th Delta rocket launch since 1960 The 11th Delta 4 rocket mission since 2002 The 9th Delta 4 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral The 8th Delta 4 flight for the Air Force The first Medium+ 5,4 configuration to fly The 10th launch of the Delta family in 2009 The third Delta 4 of 2009 The 36th United Launch Alliance mission in 36 months The fourth Delta 4 under the ULA banner 0138 GMT (8:38 p.m. EST Sat.)The launch pad swing arm retraction system pins are being pulled. The three arms will be rotated away from the Delta 4 rocket at liftoff. 0137 GMT (8:37 p.m. EST Sat.)The launch conductor just performed another readiness poll of his team. All elements remain "ready" for flight.
Цитата0151 GMT (8:51 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 4 minutes, 55 seconds. Delta is 128 miles in altitude, 321 miles east of the launch pad. 0151 GMT (8:51 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 4 minutes, 26 seconds. The cryogenic RL10B-2 upper stage engine has been lit! 0151 GMT (8:51 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 4 minutes, 14 seconds. The Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage have been separated in one piece. The upper stage engine's extendible nozzle is dropping into position to prepare for ignition. 0151 GMT (8:51 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 4 minutes, 5 seconds. MECO! Main engine cutoff confirmed as the RS-68 powerplant shuts down. 0150 GMT (8:50 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 3 minutes, 57 seconds. The main engine is throttling down to 57 percent thrust for the rest of its firing in today's launch. 0150 GMT (8:50 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 3 minutes, 26 seconds. The protective payload fairing enclosing the WGS 3 satellite atop the rocket has separated. 0149 GMT (8:49 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 2 minutes, 55 seconds. Altitude 51 nautical miles, 84 nautical miles downrange. 0149 GMT (8:49 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 2 minutes, 10 seconds. Altitude 31.4 miles, 38.2 miles downrange. 0149 GMT (8:49 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 2 minutes. The RS-68 is consuming nearly a ton of propellants per second as the powerplant pushes the Delta 4 rocket closer to space. 0148 GMT (8:48 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 1 minute, 44 seconds. Solid motor separation! The spent boosters have been shed from the first stage. Delta 4 continues powering its way on the thrust generated by the RS-68 main engine. 0148 GMT (8:48 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 1 minute, 34 seconds. The four solid rocket boosters have burned out of their propellant. Standing by for jettison. 0147 GMT (8:47 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 50 seconds. Now passing through the region of maximum aerodynamic pressure. 0147 GMT (8:47 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 36 seconds. The launcher has broken through the sound barrier. 0147 GMT (8:47 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 20 seconds. The Delta 4 rocket cleared the Complex 37 towers in a heartbeat and continues racing away from the spaceport with its main engine firing at full throttle and the four strap-on motors giving an impressive boost in speed. 0147 GMT (8:47 p.m. EST Sat.)LIFTOFF! Liftoff of the energetic new version of Delta 4 launching a sophisticated communications relay satellite for U.S. military forces overseas. 0146 GMT (8:46 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 12 seconds. Residual hydrogen burnoff ignitors have been fired beneath the main engine. 0146 GMT (8:46 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 22 seconds. The steering system for the solid rocket motor nozzles has been activated. 0146 GMT (8:46 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 30 seconds. Green board. All systems remain "go" for launch. 0146 GMT (8:46 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 40 seconds. Upper stage liquid hydrogen tank is confirmed at flight level. 0146 GMT (8:46 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 1 minute and counting. The ignition conditions for the RS-68 main engine are "go." The terminal countdown sequencer will take control at T-minus 8.5 seconds. Ignition of the RS-68 powerplant will follow at T-minus 5.5 seconds. The engine powers up to the 102 percent level of thrust for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff. 0145 GMT (8:45 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 70 seconds. The Air Force-controlled Eastern Range has given its "go" for launch. 0145 GMT (8:45 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 75 seconds. The liquid hydrogen fuel tank on the upper stage is being secured for launch. 0145 GMT (8:45 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 80 seconds. Upper stage liquid oxygen tank has been secured at flight level. 0145 GMT (8:45 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 1 minute, 50 seconds. The first stage liquid hydrogen tank has reached flight level and pressure. 0145 GMT (8:45 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 2 minutes. The rocket's upper stage liquid oxygen tank is being secured. 0144 GMT (8:44 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 2 minutes, 45 seconds. The liquid oxygen tank in the first stage is confirmed at the proper level and pressure for flight. 0143 GMT (8:43 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 3 minutes, 15 seconds. Replenishment of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the Common Booster Core first stage is being secured in preparation to pressurize the tanks for launch. 0143 GMT (8:43 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 4 minutes and counting. Ordnance devices aboard the vehicle are being armed. 0142 GMT (8:42 p.m. EST Sat.)T-minus 4 minutes, 10 seconds. The systems of the first and second stages of the Delta 4 rocket have switched from ground-fed power to internal batteries for launch.
Цитата0158 GMT (8:58 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 11 minutes, 30 seconds. The vehicle's steep climb leveled off as it gains speed toward orbital velocity. Delta is 227 nautical miles in altitude, 1,228 miles downrange from the launch pad. 0157 GMT (8:57 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 10 minutes, 20 seconds. The upper stage is stable and giving WGS 3 a good ride.0156 GMT (8:56 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 9 minutes, 10 seconds. Delta is 222 miles in altitude, 919 miles east of the launch pad. 0154 GMT (8:54 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 8 minutes, 30 seconds. The second stage engine continues to fire. All is looking good. 0153 GMT (8:53 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. The upper stage is the larger five-meter version that has flown three previous times on the Delta 4-Heavy vehicle, another element that distinguishes this Medium+ (5,4) rocket configuration. The earlier Medium variants used four-meter upper stages. Today's stage has a wider liquid hydrogen tank and a lengthened liquid oxygen tank to carry additional propellants, enabling the RL10 engine to fire longer. 0153 GMT (8:53 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 6 minutes, 50 seconds. Good controls by the upper stage. Delta is 186 miles in altitude, 587 miles downrange from the launch pad. 0153 GMT (8:53 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 6 minutes, 10 seconds. Delta is 167 miles in altitude, 484 miles east of the launch pad. 0152 GMT (8:52 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 5 minutes, 50 seconds. Good chamber pressure data being reported from the RL10 engine as it thrusts to reach orbit. 0152 GMT (8:52 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Delta is 148 miles in altitude, 402 miles east of the launch pad.
Цитата0223 GMT (9:23 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 36 minutes. The rocket is coasting in orbit and will soon deploy the next Wideband Global SATCOM, continuing the modernization effort for the U.S. military's satellite communications network in space.0221 GMT (9:21 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 34 minutes. Release of the payload just under seven minutes away. 0219 GMT (9:19 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 32 minutes. Delta is traveling at 32,830 feet per second, some 6,209 miles downrange from the launch pad. 0218 GMT (9:18 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 31 minutes, 29 seconds. SECO 2. The second of two firings by the upper stage during today's launch has been completed, ending the powered phase of flight. 0217 GMT (9:17 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 30 minutes, 15 seconds. This burn injects the rocket into a highly elliptical orbit stretching about 36,000 nautical miles in altitude at its furthest point from Earth. 0216 GMT (9:16 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 29 minutes, 45 seconds. Engine performing well. 0216 GMT (9:16 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 29 minutes, 30 seconds. This burn will last just over three minutes in duration. 0216 GMT (9:16 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 29 minutes, 10 seconds. Pitch and yaw control are normal. 0215 GMT (9:15 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 28 minutes, 42 seconds. Good engine chamber pressure reported. 0215 GMT (9:15 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 28 minutes, 33 seconds. The RL10B-2 engine, fed by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, has been ignited once again! This firing will propel WGS 3 to its targeted orbit. 0212 GMT (9:12 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 25 minutes, 30 seconds. The vehicle is now in a coast mode before the next firing of the upper stage engine. Re-ignition of the RL10 engine is three minutes away. 0211 GMT (9:11 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 24 minutes. To see the track the rocket is following this evening, click here. 0210 GMT (9:10 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 23 minutes. The upper stage is reorienting to the proper position for the next burn. 0209 GMT (9:09 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 22 minutes. The initial orbit appears to be right on target.0207 GMT (9:07 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 20 minutes, 31 seconds. SECO 1. Confirmation that the second stage engine has shut down after the first of two planned firings to inject the WGS 3 spacecraft into a supersynchronous transfer orbit. 0206 GMT (9:06 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 19 minutes, 20 seconds. Delta is traveling at 27,503 feet per second over the central Atlantic Ocean. 0205 GMT (9:05 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 18 minutes. The upper stage's the RL10 engine working well, still firing as planned to reach the parking orbit this evening. 0204 GMT (9:04 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 17 minutes, 5 seconds. Delta is traveling at 24,897 feet per second, 2,361 miles downrange from the launch pad. 0203 GMT (9:03 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 16 minutes, 30 seconds. About four minutes remain in this firing of the second stage. 0202 GMT (9:02 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 15 minutes, 40 seconds. The telemtry relay duties for the rest of the mission are being handed from ground stations to NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.0201 GMT (9:01 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 14 minutes, 30 seconds. This burn will place the vehicle into an initial parking orbit around Earth. The rocket is headed for an elliptical orbit of 100 by 3,714 nautical miles with an inclination of 25.59 degrees.0200 GMT (9:00 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 13 minutes, 30 seconds. The RL10 engine is burning a mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen cryogenic propellants. Chamber pressures still look good. 0159 GMT (8:59 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 12 minutes, 30 seconds. Normal chamber pressures and good pitch and yaw steering reported. 0159 GMT (8:59 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 12 minutes, 15 seconds. Delta is 221 miles in altitude, 1,418 miles east of the launch pad.
Цитата0226 GMT (9:26 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 39 minutes, 45 seconds. Separation will occur while soaring away from the planet over the Indian Ocean. 0225 GMT (9:25 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 38 minutes, 40 seconds. About two minutes from separation.
Цитата0227 GMT (9:27 p.m. EST Sat.)T+plus 40 minutes, 40 seconds. SPACECRAFT SEPARATION! The Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM 3 military communications satellite has been deployed into orbit from the Delta 4 rocket's upper stage, completing tonight's launch. The spacecraft will spend the next few weeks being maneuvered into geostationary orbit by controllers at Boeing's satellite facility in El Segundo, California. The orbit raising activities will use both the conventional propellant engines as well as ion propulsion thrusters. "WGS has the chemical propulsion system, as well as xenon ion propulsion," said Mark Spiwak, the WGS program director for satellite-builder Boeing. "When we come off the rocket, we've got a little over two weeks of the chemical burns...and 36-37 days of xenon ion propulsion that brings the inclination down and also rounds out the orbit." Boeing will oversee the craft's solar array and antenna deployments, plus complete an initial round of testing before WGS 3 is handed over to the Air Force in February. The military plans to conduct its own set of checks and verifications, then position the craft at its orbit
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ЦитатаNew communications craft launched for U.S. militaryBY JUSTIN RAYSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 5, 2009The Delta 4 rocket debuted its latest variant with a display of power and precision Saturday night, successfully using an energetic creation to heave a vital communications satellite into space for the U.S. military. Credit: Pat Corkery/ULABlasting away from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 at 8:47 p.m. EST with a dashing speed not seen on previous Delta 4 vehicles, the rocket roared through the sound barrier in just 36 seconds and climbed past the edge of space only three minutes later. Four solid-fueled boosters affixed to the rocket in pairs provided the impressive kick that propelled the 217-foot-tall Delta into the nighttime sky, augmenting the thrust from the first stage's hydrogen-fed main engine. The hotrod rocket is known as the Medium+ (5,4) configuration. It's distinguished by a five-meter composite payload shroud, a similarly-sized upper stage and the quad arrangement of solid rockets. Previous Medium+ rockets have flown with the smaller four-meter nose cone, an upper stage that carries less fuel and only two solid motors. The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 family was conceived around a modular design, allowing mission planners to match different rocket configurations with the payloads they carry. Earlier flights spanned the spectrum of options ranging from the simplest version featuring just two stages all the way to the triple-body heavy-lifter that can haul the largest satellites. The spacecraft needing a ride to space Saturday night was the Air Force's third Wideband Global SATCOM communications satellite, weighing a hefty 12,800 pounds. The "5,4" variant of Delta 4 fit the role of launching the craft into the desired supersynchronous transfer orbit. The cryogenic main engine and all four solids were ignited on the launch pad, causing the rocket to depart the Florida spaceport in a hurry. The strap-on motors fired for 94 seconds and then separated. The RS-68 engine continued burning through the initial four minutes of flight by consuming liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Shortly before the first stage's burn concluded, having already left the atmosphere, the 47-foot-long nose shroud covering the satellite was jettisoned. The first stage finished its job and separated about 100 nautical miles over the ocean, leaving rocket's upper stage and cryogenic RL10B-2 powerplant to perform a lengthy firing to achieve an intermediate parking orbit and then a second, brief burn near the western coast of Africa that sent the payload toward an orbit that was targeted to hit 237 nautical miles at perigee, 36,167 nautical miles at apogee and inclined 24 degrees. The payload separated from the launcher just before T+plus 41 minutes while soaring away from the planet over the Indian Ocean. "Now more than ever, our nation depends on our ability to successfully deliver space-based capabilities with 100 percent mission success," Col. Gary Henry, commander of the Air Force's Launch and Range Systems Wing. Known as WGS 3, this satellite is the third in a major program to upgrade to the military's main communications infrastructure, replacing the aging Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) spacecraft. Each WGS has 10 times the capacity of a DSCS satellite, allowing users to process and receive data quicker than ever before. "WGS is the nation's next generation wideband satellite communications system that will increase the security, availability and bandwidth of communications for our globally-engaged service men and woman," said Lt. Col. Dave Hook, commander of the 5th Space Launch Squadron at Cape Canaveral. The satellites supply communications such as maps and data to soldiers on the battlefield, relay video from unmanned aerial reconnaissance drones, route voice calls and data messaging, and even offer quality-of-life considerations like television broadcasts and email delivery to the troops. WGS 1 entered service last year to cover the vast Pacific Command that stretches from the U.S. western coast all the way to Southeast Asia. The WGS 2 satellite launched earlier this year was placed into operation over the Indian Ocean for use by U.S. Central Command to provide coverage for the warfighters in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of Southwest Asia. The new WGS 3 satellite will be positioned above the Eastern Atlantic at an orbital slot of 12 degrees West longitude. Its broad reach will cover U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, plus lend additional support over the Middle East. "WGS 3 is the next step in deploying Wideband Global SATCOM to augment and eventually replace the legacy Defense Satellite Communications System, or DSCS, which has been the Department of Defense's backbone for satellite communications over the last three decades," said Col. Bill Harding, vice commander, Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing. "WGS 3 is slated for operations over EUCOM and AFRICOM and will provide an order of magnitude increase in military communications bandwidth for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines." The satellite will be maneuvered into a circular geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above the planet where it can match the Earth's rotation and appear parked over one area of the globe. On-orbit testing is scheduled to last a few months, enabling the craft to begin full use next April. The WGS spacecraft are constructed around Boeing's powerhouse 702-model design used by commercial satellite operators. But within the WGS craft are Ka- and X-band military communications packages. The WGS craft offer X-band communications, like the venerable DSCS satellites, to connect with military users anywhere within the field of view from orbit. What's new on WGS is Ka-band communications. Officials describe the extra frequency as a way of serving up large amounts of information for reception by U.S. and allied forces across a wide area using the so-called Global Broadcast System, or GBS. "The GBS is like DirecTV to the warfighter. With the emerging requirements for more and more Predator and Reaper unmanned aerial system data, the GBS is allowing us to double the amount of full motion video we are able to carry," Harding said. "With the GBS data, it allows us to bring that full motion video down to small, one-meter terminals." The satellites also adjust and shift their multiple beams of coverage, a feature that is employed as local hotspots on Earth move. "That is a key advance for our warfighters of giving them the communications where they need it, when they need it," said Mark Spiwak, the WGS program director for satellite-builder Boeing. "We can make (the beams) more oblong, we can put notches in them, we can make them bigger and global. But we can shape the beams and shape the throughput." The Air Force says nine DSCS satellites remain in use while the new WGS craft are continuing to be built and deployed. "We're trying to squeeze as much as capability out of the DSCS birds as we possible can. We continue to monitor the capability of the spacecraft and how much fuel in there," Harding said. With the first two WGS satellites already in use and the third en route, the Air Force seems pleased with the new constellation of spacecraft they are assembling. "We're getting great feedback in terms of the support they are providing," Harding said. "The first one went up over (Pacific Command). As you realize, that particular theater deals with the tyranny of distance a lot more than some of the other theaters, so (satellite communications) is extremely important to them. Of course, the X-band -- the DSCS replacement capability -- plus the Ka-band provide them not only a lot of bandwidth...but a lot more coverage area. So there's a lot of antennas and we're able to cover forces no matter where they are in the Pacific." "Quality-of-life for the folks on the ships has been significantly increased due to WGS being fielded," Spiwak added, noting that WGS 1 can provide 24/7 Internet and television to the military deployed across the Pacific. Three more WGS satellites are under construction at Boeing's manufacturing plant in El Segundo, California. They are incorporating a slight upgrade from the previous trio of spacecraft and should be ready to begin launching in 2011. "We are very active on satellites 4, 5 and 6. In fact, before the end of the year we will be assembling the F4 satellite into a complete satellite," Spiwak said. "Those satellites are on schedule...we've got the formula now." Harding said the WGS program -- and its six satellites ordered thus far -- is valued at $2.1 billion. "WGS addresses our military's ever-growing appetite for high-bandwidth satellite communications," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "We're now working with the Air Force to determine how future WGS satellites could be enhanced to handle missions involving airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and communications-on-the-move."
ЦитатаSaturday, December 05, 2009Delta IV Roars Off On Spectacular Nighttime Flight A Delta IV rocket roared off its Cape Canaveral launch pad tonight and cut a blazing trail into the night sky as it hauled a new military communications satellite toward an orbit 22,300 miles above the planet.The 217-foot-tall United Launch Alliance rocket blast off from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8:47 p.m. -- the very end of a 90-minute window of opportunity. Stiff upper-altitude winds prevented an on-time launch at 7:23 p.m.The Delta IV looked like a bright ball ascending into dark skies as the rocket arced out over the Atlantic Ocean and sped toward orbit. A shooting star could be seen streaking through the skies about 90 seconds after liftoff and then four solid rocket motors peeled away from the first stage 10 seconds later. The solid-fueled boosters could be seen tumbling like bright orange embers as the spent motors plummeted toward the ocean.No problems were reported during the initial climb toward orbit.The rocket is carrying a Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft -- an advanced Air Force communications satellite that will serve U.S. and allied troops on missions around the world, including those now taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan.Retired Air Force Capt. John Kutz, a 57-year-old Titusville resident who now is the lead avionics engineer for United Launch Alliance, knows exactly how important communications satellites have become to American warfighters. Check out the story HERE.The launch originally was set for Wednesday, but late Tuesday, managers pushed it back 24 hours as a result of an approaching storm system. Stiff upper level winds and thick clouds held up a countdown Thursday and then an electrical card in a ground launch control system failed as the end of the window approached that night.The launch was rescheduled for Friday, but managers reset it for tonight to give engineers time to replace the faulty card and then install and test a spare.ABOUT THE IMAGES: Click to enlarge the Florida Today image (top) of the Delta IV rocket leaping off its Cape Canaveral launch pad with a new military communications satellite onboard. Photo credit: Michael R. Brown/Florida Today. The second image, from United Launch Alliance image of Delta IV rocket on Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photo Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance.
ЦитатаSaturday, December 05, 2009Delta IV Delivers New Military Satellite To Orbit A new military communications satellite that will serve U.S. and allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is circling high above Earth today after a spectacular holiday season launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.Forty minutes and 55 seconds after launch, the 6.5-ton spacecraft separated cleanly from the Delta IV Medium rocket that hauled it into orbit.The spacecraft "is flying on its own," said United Launch Alliance flight commentator Steve Agid said. "This is another important milestone for our war-fighters and our nation," said Air Force Maj. Mark Hadley, a deputy program manager for the Wideband Global SATCOM project.The spacecraft is the third in a series that will deliver broadband communications services to U.S. and allied forces in theaters around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan.ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the Florida Today image of the Delta IV Medium rocket streaking through the night skies over Florida's Space Coast. Photo credit: Craig Bailey, Florida Today.posted by Todd Halvorson at 9:26 PM
ЦитатаCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Dec. 6, 2009 -- Boeing [NYSE] has acquired the first on-orbit signals from the third of six Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites. The signals indicate that the spacecraft is healthy and ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing. WGS is the latest U.S. Department of Defense satellite communications system.A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launched the WGS-3 satellite at 8:47 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A ground station in Dongara, Australia, received the satellite's first signals 58 minutes later at 9:45 p.m. Eastern time. Boeing's Mission Control Center in El Segundo, Calif., confirmed that the satellite is functioning normally."This mission marks another important advancement in the communications capabilities that our advanced satellites provide to U.S. military personnel around the world," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "The nation's warfighters rely on satellites like this one to help them execute difficult missions safely and effectively, and the Air Force-Boeing team is committed to coming through for them."Following a series of orbital maneuvers and on-orbit tests over the West Coast of the United States, WGS-3 will be placed into geosynchronous Earth orbit over the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite joins WGS-1, which entered service over the Pacific Ocean in April 2008, and WGS-2, which began operations over the Middle East in August 2009. The WGS-1 and WGS-2 satellites meet and, in some cases, exceed Air Force mission requirements. Together, the three WGS satellites will provide assured access to high-data-rate communications for U.S. forces and allies around the world.WGS is the Department of Defense's highest-capacity communications satellite system. The satellites are built on the proven Boeing 702 platform with 13 kilowatts of power. The payload provides reconfigurable coverage areas and the ability to connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere within their field of view via an onboard digital channelizer -- features not available on any other communications satellite.