Next Wideband Global Sat Shipped to Fla. for Launch

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The fifth Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) X- and Ka-band communications satellite has shipped from a Boeing factory in California and arrived March 9 in Florida for prelaunch preparations.

The satellite originally was scheduled for launch in January, but was delayed due to industry and government investigations of the spacecraft’s Delta 4 carrier rocket. The satellite is expected to launch sometime this year. Final processing and preflight checkout of the satellites is taking place at Astrotech Corp. in Titusville, Fla., according to an Air Force press release.

Once in operation, WGS-5 will join four other WGS satellites on orbit. It will allow users to send images three times faster than current U.S. Defense Department data rates, according to a Boeing press release.

The next satellite in the constellation, WGS-6, has completed testing and is also scheduled to launch this year. Four more satellites, WGS-7, -8, -9 and -10, are in production.