Atlas V Successfully Launches From Cape Canaveral

By  //  January 23, 2014

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Payload is Tracking and Data Relay Satellite

WATCH THE replay of the TDRS-L Launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L (TDRS-L) successfully launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 9:33 p.m. EST from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space.

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L (TDRS-L) successfully launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 9:33 p.m. EST from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. (NASA image)

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L (TDRS-L) successfully launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 9:33 p.m. EST from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. (NASA image)

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is NASA’s network of specialized communications satellites that orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.

As the name suggests, the satellites relay signals between spacecraft including the International Space Station and ground control stations on Earth.

The spacecraft are a vast improvement over the string of ground stations that were used in the past to communicate with spacecraft for short periods of time as they passed over or near the stations.

With the TDRS spacecraft in place, spacecraft including Earth-observing missions and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have near-constant communication links to Earth.

PREVIOUS POST: January 23, 2014, 5 a.m.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Launch and mission managers gave a “go” to roll out the TDRS-L/Atlas V stack following the successful completion of  the Launch Readiness Review at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Launch and mission managers gave a "go" to roll out the TDRS-L/Atlas V stack today at 10 a.m. following the successful completion of yesterday's Launch Readiness Review at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA image)

Launch and mission managers gave a “go” to roll out the TDRS-L/Atlas V stack following the successful completion of the Launch Readiness Review at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA image)

The teams also confirmed the launch time of 9:05 p.m. EST tonight at the opening of a 40-minute launch window.  There is an 80 percent chance of favorable weather with just a minimal chance of a thick cloud layer.

The temperature at launch time will be near 54 degrees with NNW winds 12 to 18 knots.

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Arrives at KSC

The countdown for launch on Thursday will begin at 2:05 p.m.

SPACE-180-13

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is NASA’s network of specialized communications satellites that orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. (NASA image)

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System is NASA’s network of specialized communications satellites that orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth.

As the name suggests, the satellites relay signals between spacecraft including the International Space Station and ground control stations on Earth.

The spacecraft are a vast improvement over the string of ground stations that were used in the past to communicate with spacecraft for short periods of time as they passed over or near the stations.

With the TDRS spacecraft in place, spacecraft including Earth-observing missions and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have near-constant communication links to Earth.

The TDRS-L Mission Snapshot

Date: Jan. 23
Mission: Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-L (TDRS-L)
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Window: 9:05 to 9:45 p.m. EST

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BELOW VIDEO: NASA’s TDRS-L communications satellite arrives last month at KSC for tomorrow’s launch.

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