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Delta launches military communications satellite
Posted: Sun, Dec 6, 2009, 8:34 AM ET (1334 GMT)
Delta 4 launch of WGS 3 (ULA) A Delta 4 launched the third in a new series of military communications satellites on Saturday night. The Delta 4 Medium=Plus (5,4) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 8:47 pm EST Saturday (0147 GMT Sunday) and placed the Wideband Global SATCOM 3 (WGS 3) satellite into a supersynchronous transfer orbit 40 minutes later. The launch took place at the end of a 85-minute launch window as launch managers waited for upper level winds to subside to acceptable levels. The satellite, built by Boeing and weighing about 6,000 kilograms, is the third of six planned WGS satellites that will provide military communications services; it will operate from 12 degrees west in GEO. The launch was the first for this variant of the Delta 4, using a five-meter payload fairing and four solid rocket strapon boosters.
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