Update: The launch was delayed due to technical issues; today's launch window extends to 9:05 p.m. EDT (0105 GMT on March 16).
The U.S. Air Force will launch its newest communications satellite for American military forces today (March 15) and you can watch the action live.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket will launch the new WGS-10 military satellite from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Florida's Space Coast. Liftoff is scheduled for 7:11 p.m. EDT (2311 GMT).
WGS-10 is the latest entry in the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM communications network, a constellation of military satellites designed to serve American soldiers around the world.
"WGS provides communication connectivity across all mission areas, including air, land and naval warfare," Air Force officials said in a statement. The system is controlled from the U.S. Air Force's 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado, the added, and"delivers reliable and secure communications services worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week as a vital military asset to the U.S. and Allied forces."
The first WGS satellite launched in 2007. WGS-9, the most recent satellite to join the network, launched in 2017. The satellites have an estimated cost of about $340 million each, according to Via Satellite.
"WGS-10's launch is another giant step for military communications," said Steven Hayden, the U.S. government's WGS program manager. "I am very proud to be a member of this team, and I’m looking forward to a successful launch."
ULA initially planned to launch today's mission on Wednesday (March 13), but postponed the flight two days to allow extra checks on the Delta IV medium launch vehicle.
Visit Space.com today at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) for live coverage of the WGS-10 satellite launch.
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