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ULA Delta IV WGS-10 Mission Set to Launch on Friday

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
March 12, 2019
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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (ULA PR) — Everything is progressing toward the ULA Delta IV launch carrying the WGS-10 mission for the U.S. Air Force. The mission is set to lift off on Friday, March 15 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Today’s forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The launch window begins at 6:56 p.m. ET and extends to 9:05 p.m. ET.

Live broadcast coverage of launch will begin at 6:35 p.m. ET on March 15. Live launch updates and webcast available at: and

Launch Forecast Summary

Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 30%
Primary concerns: Cumulus Cloud Rule

Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 60%
Primary concern: Cumulus Cloud Rule, Disturbed Weather Rule, Flight Through Precipitation

WGS-10 Communications Satellite

WGS-10, the fourth Block II follow-on satellite, supports communications links in the X-band and Ka-band spectra. While Block I and II satellites can instantaneously filter and downlink up to 4.410 GHz, WGS-10 can filter and downlink up to 8.088 GHz of bandwidth. Depending on the mix of ground terminals, data rates and modulation and coding schemes employed, a single WGS satellite can support data transmission rates over 6 Gbps, and WGS-10 with its advanced digital channelizer may support more than 11 Gbps.

WGS has 19 independent coverage areas, 18 of which can be positioned throughout its field-ofview. This includes eight steerable/shapeable X-band beams formed by separate transmit/receive phased arrays; 10 Ka-band beams served by independently steerable diplexed antennas; and one transmit/receive X-band Earth-coverage beam. WGS can tailor coverage areas and connect X-band and Ka-band users anywhere within its field-of-view. The X-band phased array antenna enables anti-jam functionality without sacrificing performance.

Five globally-located Army Wideband SATCOM Operations Centers provide 24/7 payload monitoring and command and control of the WGS constellation. Each Global Satellite Configuration and Control Element has the capability to control up to ten WGS satellites at a time.

Spacecraft platform control and anomaly resolution is accomplished by the 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO

Delta IV Launch Vehicle

The Delta IV family of launch vehicles combines design simplicity, manufacturing efficiency, and  streamlined mission and vehicle integration to meet customer launch requirements.

The Delta IV Medium+ (5,4) configuration has launched seven WGS satellites.

First Launch: Dec. 5, 2009
Launches to date: 7
Performance to GTO: 6,890 kg (15,109 lb)
Performance to LEO-Reference: 13,370 kg (30,250 lb)


The Delta IV common booster core (CBC) tanks are structurally rigid and constructed of isogrid aluminum barrels, spun-formed aluminum domes and machined aluminum tank skirts. Delta IV booster propulsion is provided by the throttleable RS-68A engine system which burns cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and delivers 705,250 lbf of thrust at sea level.

The booster’s cryogenic tanks are insulated with a combination of spray-on and bond-on insulation  and helium-purged insulation blankets. The booster is controlled by the DCSS avionics system, which provides guidance, flight control. Four solid rocket motors (SRM) generate the additional power required at liftoff, with each SRM providing 281,000 lbf of thrust. The SRMs are 5 ft in diameter, 53 ft long and are constructed of a graphite-epoxy composite.

Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS)

The DCSS propellant tanks are structurally rigid and constructed of formed aluminum plate, spun-formed aluminum domes and aluminum ring forgings. It is a cryogenic liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen-fueled vehicle, powered by a single RL10B-2 engine that produces 24,750 lbf of thrust.

The DCSS cryogenic tanks are insulated with a spray-on insulation and helium-purged insulation blankets. An equipment shelf attached to the aft dome of the DCSS liquid oxygen tank provides the structural mountings for vehicle electronics.

Payload Fairing (PLF)

The PLF is a composite bisector (two-piece shell), 5-meter diameter fairing. The PLF encapsulates the spacecraft to protect it from the launch environ- ment on ascent. The vehicle’s height, with the 47-ft tall PLF, is approximately 218 ft.

ULA Mission Success

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 130 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

Please see the Delta IV mission booklet here:

2 responses to “ULA Delta IV WGS-10 Mission Set to Launch on Friday”

  1. ThomasLMatula says:

    It is really sad to see ULA pollute the ocean with those outdated throw away boosters…

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