|Operator||US Air Force|
|Mission duration||14 years|
|Spacecraft type||WGS Block II|
|Launch mass||5,987 kilograms (13,199 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||20 January 2012, 00:38UTC|
|Rocket||Delta IV-M+(5,4) D358|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-37B|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
USA-233 can transmit data with approximately 3.6 gigabits per second bandwidth. It can point 19 individual beams at different points on the Earth, operating at x band and ka band frequencies. Built by Boeing around the BSS-702 bus, the 5,987-kilogram (13,199 lb) satellite is expected to operate for 14 years. Propulsion is provided by an R-4D apogee motor, and four XIPS-25 ion thrusters for stationkeeping.
The launch of USA-233 took place at 00:38 UTC on 20 January 2012, using a Delta IV-M+(5,4) carrier rocket flying from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch was conducted by United Launch Alliance, and marked the eighteenth flight of the Delta IV. The carrier rocket successfully placed the satellite into a 440-by-66,870-kilometre (270 by 41,550 mi) supersynchronous transfer orbit, with 24 degrees of inclination. Upon achieving orbit, WGS-4 was assigned its USA designation, and the International Designator 2012-003A. The satellite will use its onboard propulsion systems to inject itself into geosynchronous orbit.
- "WGS-4 Mission Overview" (PDF). United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Krebs, Gunter. "WGS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "Mission Status Center". Delta Launch Report. Spaceflight Now. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 653". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
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