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Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Project
Building 12 Suite C004
8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L (TDRS-L), the 12th spacecraft in the agency's TDRS Project, is safely in orbit after launching at 9:33 p.m. EST Thursday aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA will give 50 of its social media followers an insider's look at America's space program and the opportunity to see a launch in-person. The NASA Social, scheduled for Jan. 23 to coincide with the launch of TDRS-L, will be held at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-L will be the focus of a media opportunity at 10 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 3, at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla. Media will be able to view the TDRS-L spacecraft and interview project and launch program officials.
The TDRS Project is building three space communications satellites that are part of a follow-on spacecraft fleet that will replenish NASA's Space Network. The TDRS Project Office at Goddard Space Flight Center manages the TDRS development effort. TDRS is the responsibility of the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) office within the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. Operations of the network are the responsibility of the Space Network Project at Goddard.
In December 2007, NASA signed a contract for Boeing Space Systems to build two third generation TDRS spacecraft for launch in 2013 and 2014. An option for a third TDRS spacecraft was executed in 2011. Within the contract there were required modifications that would enable the White Sands Complex ground system to support the new spacecraft.
The January 30, 2013 launch of TDRS-K began the replenishment of the fleet through the development and deployment of the next generation spacecraft. Replenishment continued with TDRS-L, launched January 23, 2014. TDRS-M will be ready for launch in 2015. These satellites will ensure the Space Network's continuation of around-the-clock, high throughput communications services to NASA's missions; serving the scientific community and human spaceflight program for many years to come.
TDRS-L Flying On Its Own
Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 11:18 p.m. EST
The Centaur upper stage completed its second engine burn this evening and separated from the TDRS-L spacecraft as planned, leaving the communications satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit of 2,613 miles by 19,324 miles. The TDRS satellite will use its own engines to steadily raise and circularize its orbit to about 22,300 miles, high enough that its orbit speed will match Earth's rotation. From that altitude, the TDRS will appear to hover over the same spot on Earth.