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Launch Gallery: Delta 4 Sends Military Satellite to Orbit

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Posted August 9, 2013

Who doesn’t like a good launch? These images and videos from last night’s launch of United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 rocket are just pretty. The rocket boosted an international military communications satellite to orbit following a beautiful night-time launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8:29 pm EDT on August 7 (00:29 UTC on August 8, 2013).

Clear of the launch utility tower, the Delta IV Medium+ and its WGS-6 payload begin the climb uphill. Credit: John O’Connor/nasatech.net

Clear of the launch utility tower, the Delta IV Medium+ and its WGS-6 payload begin the climb uphill. Credit: John O’Connor/nasatech.net

The 21-story-tall Delta 4 included four solid-fuel strap-on boosters for extra oomph. As @OxyAstro said on Twitter last night, “I like to think of the Delta IV as an apartment building sitting on a few million lbs of thrust.”

Images here are from John O’Connor at Nasatech.net, and enjoy a close-up video of the launch, below, from Matthew Travis.

A standard video view of the launch is below.

On board was the WGS-6 (Wideband Global Satcom)a big 6,000 kg (13,200 lb) satellite that is part of a military communications network shared by the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

As flames from the hydrogen-rich ignition coil around the boosters the RS-68 main engine comes up to full power. Credit: John O'Connor/nasatech.net

As flames from the hydrogen-rich ignition coil around the boosters the RS-68 main engine comes up to full power. Credit: John O’Connor/nasatech.net

Rising from the launch table the Delta IV/WGS-6 mission begins. Credit: John O'Connor/nasatech.net

Rising from the launch table the Delta IV/WGS-6 mission begins. Credit: John O’Connor/nasatech.net

Clear of the lightning towers the WGS-6 mission streaks to super-sync geo orbit. Credit: John O'Connor/nasatech.net.

Clear of the lightning towers the WGS-6 mission streaks to super-sync geo orbit. Credit: John O’Connor/nasatech.net.

Source: Universe Today, story by Nancy Atkinson

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