The TDRS-K satellite depicted orbiting Earth from 22,300 miles, an altitude which allows the spacecraft to reliably receive and transmit signals between spacecraft in low Earth orbit and ground stations on Earth. Artist concept: The Boeing Co.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - An upcoming Atlas V launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will boost a vital NASA communications satellite into orbit, according to NASA.
NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K) will be aboard an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, which is set for liftoff on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 8:52 p.m. EST at the opening of a 40-minute launch window.
Brevard Times will cover the launch live.
TDRS-K is the first of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet, which consists of 7 satellites in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-K has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements.
Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, CA built TDRS-K. NASA's Space Communications and Navigation Program, part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management.
United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket and launch service.