Tech & Science

Watch Live: United Launch Alliance Scheduled Launch of WGS-10 Military Satellite Friday Night From Cape Canaveral

A launch was scheduled for Friday night from Space Launch Complex-37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket was set to deliver the WGS-10 mission for the United States Air Force.

The launch window was set to open at 6:56 p.m. EDT and was set to remain open until 9:05 p.m. Friday night. As of Thursday, the weather for the launch was 80 percent favorable and the coverage of the launch was scheduled to begin at 6:35 p.m.

The satellite for launch, the WGS-10, stands for the 10th Wideband Global SATCOM. The satellite “supports communications links in the X-band and Ka-band spectra,” said ULA. The WGS-10 payload was expected to be delivered to its super-synchronous transfer orbit about 37 minutes after liftoff takes place Friday night.

The launch and pre-launch coverage was expected to broadcast live online, or it was be streamed here:

The payload was being delivered to space on a Delta IV rocket, it will be the 39th launch of a Delta IV since the first launch in 2002. The Delta IV is used to launch “ the nation’s high-priority U.S. Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office space programs.”

The launch process was successfully underway on Friday ahead of the scheduled launch. The Air Force meteorologists issued an updated forecast, still with an 80 percent favorable forecast, on Friday afternoon.

The countdown with two scheduled holds was underway Friday afternoon as well to ensure the systems were working properly and ready for launch. The go-ahead for fueling operations was issued at 2:45 p.m. and the fueling began just after 3 p.m. “The first step in tanking procedures is the chilldown (or thermal conditioning) of the liquid hydrogen system on the first stage,” said ULA.

The first stage of the rocket required 150,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and the second stage required 20,000 gallons.

Final checks were being performed Friday afternoon to check the systems of the rocket and the payload before launch including the GPS system and the built-in engine control.

Before the live stream of the lunch begins updates will be available from ULA on Twitter and details like pre-launch procedures and any change in the expected liftoff times would be updated there and on the ULA site.

ICESAT ULA In this handout image provided by NASA, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket is seen as it launches with the NASA Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) onboard, Saturday, September 15, 2018, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Friday night ULA was expected to launch the WGS-10. Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images

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