Space

December 11, 2013

NASA’s tracking, data relay satellite arrives at Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite is in a temporary home at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida waiting to be attached to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will take it into Earth orbit, Jan. 23.

The TDRS-L spacecraft arrived at Kennedy, Dec. 6. After being unloaded from a U.S. Air Force C-17 aircraft, it was unpacked and inspected to ensure it sustained no damage on its flight from the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems satellite factory in El Segundo, Calif.

As a vital information pipeline for space-based research and exploration, TDRS fulfills NASA’s broadest communication demands. For more than 30 years, the TDRS fleet has provided critical communication support to NASA’s human spaceflight endeavors that began during the space shuttle era and continues with support of the International Space Station. It also provides communications support to an array of science missions, as well as several launch vehicles.

“The launch of TDRS-L ensures continuity of services for the many missions that rely on the system every day,” said Jeffrey Gramling, TDRS project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

TDRS-L is the second of three replenishment satellites for the TDRS constellation, which currently consists of eight spacecraft. TDRS-K was launched in January 2013. The last of the three, TDRS-M, is on track to be ready for launch as early as 2015.

Of the 11 TDRS satellites launched, eight still are operational. Four of those already are beyond their design life. Two have been retired. One was lost in a space shuttle accident.

These three constitute the third-generation of TDRS satellites, which changes the location for communication signal processing of some services from the spacecraft to the ground. This change supports the evolving needs of the users, providing more flexibility and unique tailoring options for use of these services, including unscheduled access on demand.

NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program, a part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. Launch management of the Atlas V launch service for TDRS-L is the responsibility of the mission directorate’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

NASA seeks proposals for extreme environment solar arrays

NASA’s space technology program is seeking proposals to develop solar array systems for space power in high radiation and low solar energy environments. In the near future, NASA will need solar cells and arrays for multiple applications in robotic and human space exploration missions. Because these systems were traditionally developed for operation near Earth, there...
 
 

NASA awards contract for construction of new mission launch command center

NASA has awarded a contract to Harkins Contracting Inc. of Salisbury, Maryland, for the construction of a new Mission Launch Command Center at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va. The new 14,174 square-foot facility will serve as the hub for interfacing with and controlling rockets, their payloads and associated launch pad support...
 

 
NASA photograph

NASA concludes series of engine tests for next-gen rocket

NASA photograph The RS-25 engine fires up for a 535-second test Aug. 27, 2015 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. This is the final in a series of seven tests for the development engine, which will pr...
 
 
LM-satellite

Lockheed Martin makes tiny satellite cooling system

Lockheed Martin scientists are packing three times the power density into a key satellite cooling system whose previous design is already the lightest in its class. This project continues the company’s effort to reduce co...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph by Bob Brown

Northrop Grumman delivers telescope structure for James Webb Space Telescope

Northrop Grumman photograph by Bob Brown Northrop Grumman employees preparing the telescope structure, for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for shipment to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. REDONDO BEACH, Cal...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>