The combined expertise of Boeing, NASA and United Launch Alliance is being combined as the companies work to determine a new launch date for the NASA Tracking and Data Relay satellite (TDRS-M) — the new launch date will now be sometime in August.
The initial launch date had to be scrubbed due to some problems that were encountered with the Omni S-band antenna on the spacecraft — the antenna suffered damage while being packed at the payload processing facility, with the detrimental condition to the antenna noted during inspection at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. Late information has also been received about the possibility of yet another issue that involves ground support equipment, also noted while at Astrotech.
TDRS-M is the latest satellite component of NASA's Space Network and will be carried aloft aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket form Cape Canaveral AFS in Florida. The satellite was built by Boeing and is based on that company's BSS-601HP bus and packs a design life estimated to be at 15 years in duration. Two solar arrays will power the satellite which will provide Ku-, Ku- and S-band communications for connectivity with other spacecraft. An R-4D-11-3000 engine will provide the propulsion for the satellite.