The launch, the tenth for the U.S. military’s Wideband Global SATCOM constellation, will be the second to last to use the medium class Delta IV rocket.
United Launch Alliance is ready to launch another communications satellite for the United States Air Force, UPI reports.
ULA’s Delta IV rocket will carry the Wideband Global SATCOM into space on Friday evening. The rocket and satellite are scheduled to blast-off from Cape Canaveral at 6:56 p.m. ET.
“The @USAirForce meteorologists are forecasting a 80 percent chance of favorable weather for the launch,” ULA announced on Twitter.
ULA has already put nine WGS satellites in space for the Air Force. If successful, Friday’s launch will make ten.
“ULA is proud to be the exclusive launch provider for all ten WGS missions,” Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of government and commercial programs, said in a news release. “Our focus on mission success continually demonstrates that safely and reliably delivering these critical national assets is our highest priority.”
The Boeing-built WGS satellites provide extensive communications coverage across a full spectrum of bandwidths. The Department of Defense depends on the WGS system to communicate with warfighters across the globe.
The WGS constellation, which provides service in the X and Ka bands, is much more powerful than previous systems. According to the U.S. Air Force, just one of the ten new WGS satellites — the first of which was launched in 2007 — can provide more satellite communications capacity than the entire legacy Defense Satellite Communications System.
According to Florida Today, Friday’s launch will be the second to last for the medium class Delta IV, which the company is phasing out.
ULA is scheduled to launch a GPS satellite in late July — the final mission for the “single stick” Delta IV rocket.