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  WGS-5 WIDEBAND GLOBAL SATCOM (WGS) United Launch Alliance Launches Second Successful Mission for U.S. Air Force in Just Nine Days Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 24, 2013) -- A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket successfully launched the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-5) satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 8:27 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-37. This mission launched just nine days after ULA successfully launched the GPS IIF-4 satellite last Wednesday, May 15. "United Launch Alliance and our many mission partners continue to focus on mission success, one-launch-at-a-time,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “We are honored to work with such a strong industry and government team and deliver another critical communication capability to orbit to support our nation’s warfighters throughout the world.” This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus configuration vehicle using a single ULA common booster core powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) RS-68 main engine, along with four ATK GEM 60 solid rocket motors. The five-meter diameter upper stage was powered by a PWR RL10B-2 engine with the satellite encapsulated in a five-meter diameter composite payload fairing. The WGS-5 launch marked the third flight of the Delta IV medium+ (5,4) configuration and the 22nd flight of the Delta IV family of launch vehicles. This was the first Delta IV launch following the low engine performance that was identified on the successful Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 launch last October.  Although the GPS IIF-3 spacecraft was accurately placed into the required orbit, ULA, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) and our U.S. Air Force teammates embarked on an investigation to determine why the upper stage engine performance was lower than expected.  Prior to this mission, rigorous hardware inspections along with vehicle and operational design modifications were implemented to prevent a recurrence of the fuel leak in the RL10 engine that was the direct cause of the low engine performance on the GPS IIF-3 launch. “The team has worked tremendously hard and exceptionally well to complete a robust investigation and get us to a successful launch today,” said Sponnick. “We sincerely thank the PWR team and our customer community for working with us throughout the investigation and flight clearance process, as well as the involvement from senior industry technical advisors.” Wideband Global SATCOM provides anytime, anywhere communication for the warfighter through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections. WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications. ULA's next launch is the Atlas V MUOS-2 mission for the U.S. Navy scheduled for July 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV Program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.   Mission WGS provides flexible, high-capacity communications for the Nation's warfighters through procurement and operation of the satellite constellation and the associated control systems. WGS provides worldwide flexible, high data rate and long haul communications for marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen, the White House Communication Agency, the US State Department, international partners, and other special users. Features The WGS system is a constellation of highly capable military communications satellites that leverage cost-effective methods and technological advances in the communications satellite industry. With launches in October 2007, April 2009, December 2009, and January 2012, WGS Space Vehicles are the Department of highest capacity communications satellites. Each WGS satellite provides service in both the X and Ka frequency bands, with the unprecedented ability to cross-band between the two frequencies onboard the satellite. WGS supplements X-band communications, provided by the Defense Satellite Communications System and augments the one-way Global Broadcast Service service through new two-way Ka-band service. Each WGS satellite is digitally channelized and transponded. These characteristics provide a quantum leap in communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for U.S. military forces and international partners while seamlessly integrating with current and future X- and Ka-band terminals. Just one WGS satellite provides more SATCOM capacity than the entire DSCS constellation. International partners participating on the program are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and New Zealand. Background WGS provides essential communications services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peace time to military operations. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity to the Defense Information Systems Network . Part of the Wideband SATCOM Division of the Space and Missile Systems Center's MILSATCOM Directorate, the WGS system is composed of three principal segments: Space Segment (satellites), Control Segment (operators) and Terminal Segment (users). MILSATCOM is responsible for development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of the WGS Program. Block II satellites 5 and 6 are projected for launch in 2013. Block II follow-on satellites 7, 8 and 9 are anticipated for launch in FY16, FY17, and FY18 respectively. Satellites are launched either via the Delta IV or the Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. General Characteristics