All Under Control

The 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo., took control of the Wideband Global Satcom-7 satellite on Oct. 13, the seventh of 10 satellites that will compose the WGS constellation, according to the 50th Space Wing. The WGS constellation will phase out the Defense Satellite Communications System, and will multiply its capabilities by 10, said Col. Dennis Bythewood, commander of 50th Operations Group. “It’s pushing data and intelligence out to the warfighter on a larger bandwidth. Our capability to push that data drives its dissemination,” he said. WGS-7 was launched on an United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket July 23 and was monitored by a team from Boeing during the three-month launch and early orbit checkout period, which allows Boeing and 3 SOPS to make sure the satellite is working before the squadron takes over command and control. WGS-8 is scheduled to launch in September 2016 from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.