Image: Tracking and Data Relay satellite prepared for launch

Jan 15, 2014
Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Inside the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla., NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, spacecraft has been encapsulated in its payload fairing. It is being lifted by crane for mounting on a transporter for its trip to Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The TDRS-L satellite will be a part of the second of three next-generation spacecraft designed to ensure vital operational continuity for the NASA Space Network. TDRS-L is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 9:05 p.m. EST on Jan. 23, 2014, the start of a 30-minute launch window.

The current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system consists of eight in-orbit satellites distributed to provide near continuous information relay contact with orbiting spacecraft ranging from the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope to the array of scientific observatories.

Explore further: Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

Related Stories

NASA launches communication satellite

Jan 31, 2013

NASA launched a new communication satellite Wednesday to stay in touch with its space station astronauts and relay more Hubble telescope images.

NASA accepts third generation TDRS into network

Aug 19, 2013

NASA has accepted ownership of its newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) from Boeing after successfully completing in orbit testing. TDRS-K, will be renamed TDRS-11 upon entry into service.

NASA to upgrade vital communications link

Oct 06, 2012

Technicians and engineers are completing final system checks and spacecraft inspections on the first of NASA's third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS). Boeing Space Systems will ship TDRS-K ...

TDRS-K offers upgrade to vital communications net

Jan 28, 2013

(Phys.org)—NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, also known as the Space Network, will get an upgrade this month when the agency launches the first of a new generation of communications satellites ...

Recommended for you

Rosetta spacecraft sees sinkholes on comet

8 hours ago

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft first began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. Almost immediately, scientists began to wonder about several surprisingly deep, almost perfectly ...

Me and my world: The human factor in space

11 hours ago

The world around us is defined by how we interact with it. But what if our world was out of this world? As part of NASA's One-Year Mission, researchers are studying how astronauts interact with the "world" ...

Radar guards against space debris

13 hours ago

Space debris poses a growing threat to satellites and other spacecraft, which could be damaged in the event of a collision. A new German space surveillance system, schedu- led to go into operation in 2018, will help to prevent ...

Why we need to keep adding leap seconds

14 hours ago

Today at precisely 10am Australian Eastern Standard time, something chronologically peculiar will take place: there'll be an extra second between 09:59:59 and 10:00:00.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.