WGS-8 (Delta IV)
7 December 2016
Space Launch Complex 37
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket launches the eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-8) mission for the U.S. Air Force on 7 December 2016 at 6:53 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. According to ULA, “WGS satellites are important elements of a high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to America's troops in the field for the next decade and beyond. WGS enables more robust and flexible execution of Command and Control, Communications Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), 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.”
The orange common booster core of the Delta IV rocket for the WGS-8 mission can be seen at SLC-37 surrounded by the Mobile Service Tower and the Fixed Umbilical Tower a couple of weeks before launch. Four solid rocket motors can be seen strapped to the bottom of the rocket to provide added lift.
A time-exposure of the WGS-8 launch shows the rocket arcing over the horizon while cars streak by on a busy road.
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