Cape Canaveral, Florida. January 14, 2014. NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-L (TDRS-L) is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Thursday, Jan. 23, from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 40-minute launch window extends from 9:05 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. EST.
Prelaunch media briefings and launch commentary coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three new satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet, which consists of eight satellites in geosynchronous orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements.
Launch coverage will be as follows:
Tuesday, Jan. 21
— 1 p.m.: Prelaunch news conference on NASA TV at the Kennedy Press Site
Thursday, Jan. 23
— 6:30 p.m.: NASA TV launch coverage begins. Coverage will conclude after the TDRS-L spacecraft has separated from the Atlas V, which occurs 1 hour, 46 minutes after launch.
NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program, part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. The agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the TDRS spacecraft project. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides Atlas V launch service.