Military communications satellite called WGS-9 designed for U.S. Army and for its allies will be launched tomorrow on the top of the Delta IV rocket.
This is latest communications satellite built by Boeing for U.S. Army and partially sponsored by following countries: Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and New Zealand. Each country expressed will of starting deeper cooperation with Department of Defense and allow U.S Army to control satellite communications of their armed forces.
WGS-9 is worth $424 million and was based on BSS-702 bus with 3 axis attitude control, 4 × XIPS-25 Ion engines and R-4D-15 HiPAT thrusters fueled with NTO / MMH. Two deployable solar arrays will provide power for X and Ka band transponders; thanks to them, satellite will be able to provide 10 spots on X band and 8 on Ka band independently. Weighing almost 6 t satellite will be operate from GEO orbit for at least 14 years. Satellite was delivered to Cape Canaveral on January 11, 2017 from Boeing's factory in El Segundo, California.
Launch of the Delta IV was planned for tomorrow at 23:44 UTC from SLC-37B at Cape Canaveral. United Launch Alliance decided to use Delta IV in Medium+ (5, 4) variant. it means that rocket will be supported by four solid rocket boosters during start; payload will be covered with 5 m wide payload fairing. Whole mission is planned tomorrow to last for 41 minutes and WGS-9 will be deployed over Indian Ocean.