NASA launching newest communication satellite

Jan 23, 2014 by Marcia Dunn
In a photo provided by NASA a United Launch Alliance Atlas V with TDRS-L atop, arrives at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41. The unmanned rocket is set to blast off Thursday night, Jan. 23, 2014, with the latest, third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. (AP Photo/Daniel Casper )

NASA's super-high-flying fleet of communication satellites is about to grow.

An unmanned rocket is set to blast off Thursday night from Cape Canaveral with the latest, third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.

NASA uses the TDRS (TEE'-driss) satellites to support the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope, among other craft. The network is 22,300 miles high and allows continuous two-way contact with the space station and its six inhabitants.

This newest satellite is designated "L'' in the TDRS series. NASA will rename it TDRS-12 once it's checked out in orbit, by late spring.

The satellite costs about $350 million.

NASA launched its first TDRS in 1983 aboard a space shuttle.

Launch time is 9:05 p.m.

Explore further: Image: Tracking and Data Relay satellite prepared for launch

More information: NASA: tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/

4.3 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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 ...

Recommended for you

Mysteries of space dust revealed

2 hours ago

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

7 hours ago

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0