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ULA launches eighth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite

By Ryan Maass
The eighth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite was launched using a Delta IV rocket. Photo by United Launch Alliance
The eighth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite was launched using a Delta IV rocket. Photo by United Launch Alliance

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Dec. 8 (UPI) -- United Launch Alliance successfully launched the eighth installment of the Wideband Global SATCOM satellite constellation for the U.S. Air Force.

The launch, conducted by the joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, support's the Air Force's mission of bolstering communication services for every U.S. military branch. The Wideband Global SATCOM, or WSG, also provides high-capacity communications for the U.S. State Department and international partners.

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"Thank you to the U.S. Air Force and industry team whose flawless execution enabled today's successful launch of the WGS-8 mission," ULA Custom Services vice president Laura Maginnis said in a press release. "Last week ULA celebrated our anniversary and 10 years of 100 percent mission success. This evening's launch epitomizes why our customers continue to entrust ULA to deliver our nation's most crucial space capabilities."

The satellite was launched using a Delta IV Medium+ configuration, one of the five settings used by the company to put satellites into space. The rocket uses a single common booster core built by space and defense contractor Orbital ATK. The motor is capable of producing 705,250 pounds of thrust at sea level.

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WSG-8 is the eighth out of ten planned launches for the constellation, and the second Block II Follow-on satellite. The device supports X-band and Ka-band frequencies, and is capable of filtering and downlinking up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth.

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