New Satellite on Orbit

The Air Force and its industry partners on Dec. 5 successfully launched WGS-3, the third in the series of six planned advanced Wideband Global Satellite Communications spacecraft, into space aboard a Delta V rocket fired from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. “The launch of this satellite is another example of the Air Force bringing important and vital capabilities to our nation’s military around the world,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in a service release. WGS spacecraft, he added, provide “a giant leap in communications bandwidth and technology.” WGS-maker Boeing announced Dec. 6 that a ground station in Australia picked up the first signals from WGS-3 shortly after its launch, indicating that the spacecraft is healthy and ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing. Following its on-orbit tests over the US West Coast, WGS-3 will be placed into geosynchronous Earth orbit over the Atlantic Ocean.