WGS-7 Readies for Launch

The seventh Wideband Global Satellite communication spacecraft arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., late last month in preparation for a July launch, space officials announced. WGS-7 is the first spacecraft procured under a commercial-style contract with Boeing that will save an estimated $100 million over the program, according to a June 17 release. The space vehicle is the fourth Block II configured WGS satellite that enables higher data transmission rates across the system’s simultaneous X and Ka communications bands. WGS-7 through WGS-10 are jointly funded by partners Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, gaining them access to the full WGS constellation. WGS-7 is slated for launch aboard an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class Delta IV rocket on July 22, according to Air Force Space Command. The previous satellite, WGS-6,? launched and completed on-orbit checks in 2013. WGS-7 arrived at Kennedy Space Center for transfer to Cape Canaveral on May 28.