US Air Force Launches Advanced Military Communications Satellite

Posted December 7, 2016 at 11:32pm

Space.com reports that “the U.S. Air Force has launched the newest member of the military’s core communications-satellite constellation.”

“The Wideband Global SATCOM-8 spacecraft, or WGS-8, lifted off atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Medium rocket today (Dec. 7) at 6:53 p.m. EST (2353 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Delta IV deployed the satellite as planned at 7:35 p.m. EST (0035 GMT on Dec. 8), as the duo were flying over Madagascar, ULA representatives said. You can see more launch photos for WGS-8 here.”

“As its name suggests, the $425 million WGS-8 satellite is the eighth member of the WGS constellation to reach orbit. The network, which will eventually consist of 10 spacecraft, is ‘the backbone of the U.S. military’s global satellite communications,’ Air Force officials have said.”