WGS-4 Military Communications Satellite Launch

ULA Launch of Boeing WGS-4 Satellite

ULA Launch of Boeing WGS-4 Satellite

Boeing has received the first on-orbit signals from the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite it is delivering to the U.S. Air Force. The signals indicate that WGS-4, the first in the Block II series, is healthy and ready to begin orbital manoeuvres and operational testing.
Further detailed information can be found on Boeing’s website here.

WGS-4 launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle on 19th January 2012 at 7:38 p.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Controllers confirmed initial contact with the spacecraft 58 minutes later at 8:36 p.m. Eastern time at a ground station in Dongara, Australia. Boeing’s Mission Control Centre in El Segundo, California confirmed that the satellite is functioning normally.

The dramatic launch video, photographs and further information can be found on ULA’s website here.

WGS-4 is an extremely advanced satellite operating at the established X-Band and the high frequency Ka-Band. It uses phased array, shaped beam, steerable spotbeams to provide coverage to support coalition forces [Read more…]

The Ultimate Seismograph + 97th Anniversary of Avezzano Earthquake

This is not only a true story, but also is timed to mark the 97th Anniversary of the devastating earthquake which destroyed Avezzano on 13th January 1915, resulting in a massive loss of life.

Have you ever been in an earthquake? I have, once, and it’s scary. Not a powerful earthquake, admittedly, and most California residents would probably have called it a tremor. However, it was enough to wake me up in the middle of the night, in the dark, and my first thoughts were [Read more…]

Watch Dramatic NASA NPP Launch

Prior to presenting the launch video itself, the following video link gives a real, behind the scenes look at the launcher integration and final launch preparations. Viewing this 6 minute video will put the launch itself into perspective => NPP Launch Preparations

Right, the “quick” version of the launch itself:

NASA’s National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft was launched aboard a Delta II rocket at 5:48 a.m. EDT today, on a mission to measure both global climate changes and key weather variables. Just watch the above live NASA video of today’s NPP launch from Vandenberg.

For those who want to watch more of the launch, including the 2nd Stage 1st burn (for me the most interesting) then watch this 16 minute video => More of the NPP Launch. Just watch the telemetry data, listen to the commentary and see the vehicle exceed 17,000mph!

Now here’s a coincidence. It’s only a few hours ago that I published [Read more…]