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Breaking Barriers: The launch of WGS-9

19 Mar 2017, 14:24 UTC
Breaking Barriers: The launch of WGS-9
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“There’s no such thing as ‘just another launch’, but this launch [WGS-9] has extra significance for us here, it’s one of the events we have decided, in the Air Force, we are using to help celebrate the Air Force’s 70th anniversary.” – Major General David Thompson, Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command, March 18, 2017.

Breaking Barriers
A remote camera captures the liftoff of the Delta IV rocket and WGS-9 satellite. Photo credit: Jared Haworth / We Report Space
September 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the US Air Force as a separate service, outgrowing from the US Army Air Corps following the end of World War II. As General Thompson pointed out yesterday evening, it was just one year after the formation of the Air Force that Chuck Yeager, flying the Bell X-1 aircraft as an Air Force test pilot, broke the sound barrier. In recognition the Air Force’s history of both literal and figurative barrier-breaking, the US Air Force has adopted “Breaking Barriers” as their theme for this year-long anniversary.
Thirty four minutes after liftoff, the WGS-9 spacecraft separated from the second stage of the Delta IV launch vehicle, marking the moment at which ...

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