Powerful USAF Satcom Propelled to Orbit by Delta Provides Dinnertime Launch Delight; Photo/Video Launch Gallery
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – The most powerful US Air Force military communications satellite ever built was propelled to orbit by a ULA Delta IV rocket that provided a dinnertime launch delight Wednesday evening for the crowds of spectators gathered around America’s premier gateway to space.
Check out this expanding gallery of launch photos and videos from several space journalist colleagues and friends and myself- spread throughout the Florida Space Coast region – giving a comprehensive look as the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-8) mission streaked to orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:53 p.m. EST on Dec. 7, 2016.
The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium+ rocket successfully streaked to the heavens through nearly crystal clear skies to deliver WGS-8 to a supersynchronous transfer orbit.
Spectators were rewarded with a picture perfect view of the rocket as it ascended quickly and arced over to the African continent.
WGS-8 is the first in a newly upgraded series of a trio of WGS satellites built by Boeing that will nearly double the communications bandwidth of prior WGS models.
Watch this video compilation showing the launch from several different vantage points.
Video Caption: A collage of up-close video cameras ringed around Space launch Complex 37 capture Delta 4 launch of the WGS-8 satellite on 12/7/2016 from Pad 37 of the CCAFS, FL. Credit: Jeff Seibert
WGS-8 is the first of three launches from the Cape this December. A Pegasus XL rocket will launch on Dec. 12 carrying NASA’s CGYNSS hurricane monitoring satellites. And an Atlas V will launch on Dec. 18 with the EchoStar 19 comsat.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and planetary science and human spaceflight news.