Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NASA TDRS Scheduled To From Cape Canaveral


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) mission is scheduled to lift-off Thursday at 9:05 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  The launch window will remain open until 9:45 p.m.


The advanced spacecraft, also known as TDRSS for the whole system or TDRS for an individual spacecraft, and its greater capacity is needed to keep the communications network on pace as NASA's fleet of research satellites has increased.


TDRS-L will become the 12th member of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System orbiting Earth following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The constellation of satellites orbiting Earth at 22,300 miles revolutionized communications for the nation's space agency by allowing nearly continuous transmission of information during a mission. Before the TDRS network was established, NASA relied on a patchwork of ground stations based around the world to stitch together coverage zones. Astronauts and Earth-orbiting scientific spacecraft would relay messages only when they passed over or near one of the ground stations.

The U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron forecasts an 90% chance of favorable weather conditions on launch day.  The primary weather concern for launch day is thick clouds.  


PHOTO: Brevard Times / Charles Parker


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