Wideband Global SATCOM.jpg
Artist's impression of a WGS satellite in orbit
Mission typeCommunications
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID2013-041A
SATCAT no.39222
Mission duration14 years
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeWGS Block II
Launch mass5,987 kilograms (13,199 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date8 August 2013, 00:29 (2013-08-08UTC00:29Z) UTC[1]
RocketDelta IV-M+(5,4)
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-37B
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude135° west
Semi-major axis42,171.00 kilometers (26,203.84 mi)
Perigee altitude35,750 kilometers (22,210 mi)
Apogee altitude35,850 kilometers (22,280 mi)
Inclination0 degrees
Period23.94 hours
Epoch1 September 2013[2]

USA-244, or Wideband Global Satcom 6 (WGS-6) is an American military communications satellite operated by the United States Air Force as part of the Wideband Global Satcom programme. Launched in 2013, it was the sixth WGS satellite to reach orbit. It is stationed at a longitude of 135° west, in geostationary orbit. WGS-6 was procured by the Australian Defence Force for the US Air Force, in exchange for participation in the programme.[3]

Built by Boeing, USA-244 is based on the BSS-702 satellite bus. It had a mass at launch of 5,987 kilograms (13,199 lb), and was expected to operate for fourteen years. The spacecraft is equipped with two solar arrays to generate power for its communications payload, which consists of cross-band X and Ka band transponders. Propulsion is provided by an R-4D-15 apogee motor, with four XIPS-25 ion engines for stationkeeping.[4]

USA-244 was launched by United Launch Alliance, who placed it into orbit using a Delta IV Medium+(5,4) rocket, flight number D363. The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with liftoff at 00:29 UTC on 8 August 2013.[1] The launch was successful, placing the WGS-6 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, from which the spacecraft raised itself into geostationary orbit using its onboard propulsion system. The satellite was designated USA-244 under the US military's designation system, and received the International Designator 2013-041A and Satellite Catalog Number 39222.[2][5]


  1. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  3. ^ Graham, William (7 August 2013). "ULA Delta IV launches with WGS-6 satellite". Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "WGS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  5. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. 1 September 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2013.