United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket has launched another communications satellite for the U.S. military.
It was ULA’s ninth launch of a Wideband Global SATCOM, once known as Wideband Gapfiller Satellites. Boeing built the communications satellite, which will become part of a constellation used by the U.S. Defense Department in partnership with allied defense officials in Australia.
The Delta IV lifted off at 8:18 p.m. EDT on March 18 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch had been scheduled for March 8, until an unspecified second-stage issue forced a pair of postponements.
A ULA Delta IV launched a similar broadband-communications satellite for U.S. military use in December.
New Space comer SpaceX is the only other company certified for military-sat launches. It had to sue for the right to compete for such work. Since then, the Hawthorne, Calif.-based company has been awarded contracts to lift two GPS satellites into orbit, one in 2018 and another in 2019.
ULA — a 50-50 joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin — is based in Centennial, Colo.