Rocket launch celebrates 70th anniversary of U.S. Air Force

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A powerful United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday night after a technical issue delayed the launch by 34 minutes.

On board was WGS-9, a military communications satellite.

“This launch commemorates the 70th anniversary of the USAF,” said an official with with Government Satellite Launch. “We are absolutely honored to play a role in this important milestone, while safely delivering WGS-9 to orbit.”

This is ULA’s 3rd launch in 2017 and the 118th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

WGS communication satellites are an important element of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capability to troops in the field.