NASA's next-gen communication satellite 'TDRS-m' put in space orbit

19 August, 2017, 04:38 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Atlas V rocket

Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's TDRS-M satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 8:29 a.m. ET.

NASA launched the last of its longtime tracking and communication satellites on Friday, a vital link to astronauts in orbit as well as the Hubble Space Telescope.

After a 26-minute delay, an Atlas V rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral's Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning, to deliver a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite into space. A ULA Atlas 5 also launched TDRS-K mission in 2013 and TDRS-L in 2014. The TDRS-M launch was in jeopardy after one of the satellite's antennas was damaged during final spacecraft closeout activities in July.

Mission Description: The addition of TDRS-M to the Space Network (SN) will provide the ability to support space communication for an additional 15 years. The TDRSS is a basic NASA capability and a critical national resource.

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter extended payload fairing.

The Atlas and Delta rockets have launched more than 1,300 missions, according to United Launch Alliance.

Launch Notes: This launch will be ULA's fifth of 2017 and 120th overall. The system is capable of providing near continuous high-bandwidth telecommunications services for Low Earth orbiting spacecraft and expendable launch vehicles including the International Space Station.

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