The U.S. Air Force’s third Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite was successfully launched Dec. 5 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and operators on the ground have acquired signals from the satellite indicating it is healthy, according to a Dec. 6 Boeing press release. The X- and Ka-band WGS-3 military communications satellite, built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of Seal Beach, Calif., will operate from a geostationary slot above the Atlantic Ocean, the release said.

The first WGS satellite is positioned over the Pacific Ocean and the second satellite is positioned over Southwest Asia. Boeing is under contract to deliver a total of six WGS satellites, with the next three scheduled to launch in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The company also is ordering long-lead parts for the seventh and eighth satellites in the series.