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Air Force Wideband Global Satcom Set for Dec. 17 Launch; Thomas Becht Comments

WidebandGlobalThe U.S. Air Force is ready to launch the military branch’s first upgraded Wideband Global Satcom satellite on Dec. 7 onboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, Space News reported Wednesday.

Phillip Swarts writes the Boeing-built WGS-8 satellite is part of the military’s communication constellation that kicked space flight in 2007 and the upgraded spacecraft is designed to carry more traffic.

Enclosed inside its fairing, the satellite is in queue for the upcoming launch from Complex 37 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, according to the report.

Thomas Becht, deputy director for MILSATCOM systems at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, said the satellite incorporates broadcast, multicast and point to point connections and ancillary X and Ka-band communications, Space News reports.

Estimated costs for the satellite reach $425 million, including the digital channelizer Boeing says works to split uplink bandwidths into 1,900 subchannels to provide more channels for communications transmission, Swarts reports.

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