[SatNews] NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System will get an upgrade when the agency launches the first of a new generation of communications satellites to connect spacecraft to the ground stations that support them.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. (January 29, 2013) - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V stands ready for launch at Space Launch Complex-41 with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) payload. Launch is set for Wednesday, January 30 at 8:48 p.m. EST. NASA established the TDRS project in 1973 to provide around-the-clock and around-the-Earth communications for the network that routes voice calls, telemetry streams and television signals from the International Space Station, as well as other orbiting spacecraft. Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 is due to loft the TDRS-K spacecraft Wednesday, January 30 on a course to geosynchronous orbit where the spacecraft will have a wide view of Earth.
Wednesday, January 30, 6:15 p.m.: Live commentary will begin on NASA Television
8:48 p.m.: Opening of the launch window
Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 40 percent; Primary concern(s): Cumulus Cloud, Disturbed Weather, Ground Winds
Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 60 percent; Primary concern(s): Ground Winds, Thick Cloud
NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, also known as the Space Network, will get an upgrade this month when the agency launches the first of a new generation of communications satellites to connect many of NASA's spacecraft to their control centers and mission data centers.