ULA - TDRS-K / Atlas V Launch poster / NASA - TDRS-K Satellite Mission patch.
Jan. 30, 2013
Image above: The Atlas V rocket with the TDRS-K spacecraft aboard at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo credit: NASA.
Liftoff for TDRS-K
NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System will get an upgrade as the agency launched the first of a new generation of communications satellites at 8:48 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral.
Atlas V Rocket and TDRS-K satellite payload description
The TDRS system provides a critical communications link to Earth for the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and many satellites.
Close-up Views of TDRS-K Launch
The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite project, known as TDRS, provides follow-on and replacement spacecraft necessary to maintain and expand the NASA Space Network. TDRS-K, as the newest satellite is called, launched Jan. 30. 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.
TDRS-K Satellite System
Each of the new satellites has a higher performance solar panel design to provide more spacecraft power. This upgrade will return signal processing for the S-Band multiple access service to the ground -- the same as the first-generation TDRS spacecraft. Ground-based processing allows TDRS to service more customers with different and evolving communication requirements.
For more information about Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K), visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdrs/index.html
Images, Text, Video, Credits: NASA / ULA / NASA TV.