Fourth WGS satellite scheduled for launch

The Air Force will launch the fourth Wideband Global Satcom Satellite into space the evening of Jan. 19 as part of the continuing effort to deliver more communications bandwidth to warfighters, reports FloridaToday.com.

A 218-foot United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket will carry the $464 million satellite into space where it is expected to become operational this summer, the story said. The fourth WGS satellite in a planned 10-satellite constellation features an upgrade that will allow even faster transmission of some communications, particularly high-resolution imagery and video taken by unmanned aircraft.

The WGS vehicles offer huge data rates to send TV-quality video and other “large, large files of intelligence information that have to get to the warfighter so he can predict what’s happening,” Dave Madden, spacecraft director from the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, told the news outlet.

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