UPDATE: The Delta IV rocket successfully launched from Florida at 8:18 p.m. EDT and has deployed the WGS satellite into orbit.
UPDATE: A new launch time of 8:18 p.m. has been set.
7:51 PM UPDATE: A T-4 min hold is being extended because of an alarm connected to the swing arm system.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium+ (5,4) configuration rocket carrying a U.S. military communications satellite is scheduled to lift off on Saturday, March 18, 2017, from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 65-minute launch window opens at 7:44 p.m Eastern Standard Time.
According to the latest weather forecast from the United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 80% percent chance overall of acceptable weather conditions for for the Delta IV launch. The primary weather concern for launch is liftoff winds.
Dubbed WGS-9, the Delta IV’s payload is the ninth Wideband Global SATCOM mission for the U.S. Air Force. WGS-8 was recently launched in December 2016.
WGS satellites are part of a high-capacity satellite communications system which provides enhanced communications capabilities to U.S. troops in the field. With powerful anti-jamming capablilities, WGS enables more robust and flexible execution of Command and Control, Communications Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, as well as battle management and combat support information functions. The WGS constellation augments the existing service available through the UHF Follow-on satellite by providing enhanced information broadcast capabilities.
Image and Video Credit: United Launch Alliance