Second Wideband Global SATCOM Satellite Shipped to Cape Canaveral
By Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center
/ Published January 21, 2009
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force's second Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft was shipped Jan. 20 to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. WGS-2 was transported to the launch site in an environmentally-controlled container aboard an Air Force C-5 aircraft. From there, the satellite was transported to the Astrotech Space Facility in Titusville, Fla. for post-shipment processing.
Over the next several weeks, the spacecraft will undergo various verification testing procedures and encapsulation in which the satellite is placed inside the nose cone at the top of the launch vehicle. WGS-2 is currently scheduled to be launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle March 9.
This major milestone has come at the end of extensive testing and verification of the satellite's capability. This test program also verifies the satellite's ability to withstand the rigors of launch and exposure to the harsh space environment over its projected 14-year mission life.
WGS-2 satellite will provide the warfighter with the same capabilities as WGS-1 while extending the global coverage. "The WGS-1 satellite capabilities substantially exceeded the warfighter's expectations. The excellent on-orbit performance of the first WGS satellite is a testament to the high degree of mission assurance, excellence in systems engineering, and the teamwork between Boeing, the Air Force, and The Aerospace Corporation that has been applied to this critical DoD program. Boeing is extremely pleased to ship the WGS-2 satellite and support preparation for the March 9 launch" said Mark Spiwak, The Boeing Company's, Director of Wideband Global SATCOM.
WGS is the nation's next-generation wideband SATCOM system. The WGS system is being procured through a commercial contract between Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. and the Wideband SATCOM Group, part of MILSATCOM Systems Wing. Boeing is on contract to provide six WGS satellites to the government in two blocks. The first block will be complete after the launch of WGS-3, currently scheduled for 2009. The second block includes satellites 4, 5 and 6 which is scheduled to begin launching in 2011.