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United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches AF WGS Satellite

Atlas WGS-1 Mission Booklet

Cape Canaveral, Fla., (October 10, 2007) -
 A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM satellite into orbit at 8:22 p.m., EDT, today. Blasting off from Space Launch Complex 41, it marked the third Atlas V EELV launch this year and eighth overall launch for ULA in 2007. This launch also comes just three weeks after the service celebrated its 60th anniversary and four months after the Atlas rocket's 50th anniversary of its first launch. The WGS system will significantly increase the communications capabilities for troops in the field.

"As America celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Air Force, today's launch of the WGS satellite is a fitting tribute," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president of Atlas programs. "ULA is proud of its continuing role of providing reliable and cost effective assured access to space for the Air Force's critical missions."

The mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 421 configuration, which uses a single common core booster powered by the RD-180 engine and two solid rocket motors. This Atlas V, designated AV-011, marked the 204th RD-180 firing. The 10 previous Atlas V launches included two missions for NASA, one for the National Reconnaissance Office, one for the United States Air Force and six for commercial customers.

"The men and women of the ULA team are honored to be continuing the legacy and accomplishments of the Atlas and Thor/Delta teams that first launched these systems in the 1950s," Sponnick said. “Atlas 4A was the first Atlas launch and it occurred June 11, 1957. It launched from Space Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, just seven miles from SLC-41, where our Atlas V vehicles are launched today."

Formed in 2006, ULA combines the successful Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicle programs offering cost-effective and reliable launch services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, NASA, and the NRO, and other commercial organizations.

ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for Oct. 17, is a Delta II carrying the GPS IIR-17 satellite for the Air Force from Space Launch Complex 17A here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a launch window of 8:23-8:38 a.m.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Huntington Beach, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Decatur, Ala.; Harlingen, Texas; and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch