NASA technology (27)

Next-Generation Satellite Prepared for Launch
NASA – The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) spacecraft is part of the next-generation series in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, a constellation of space-based communication satellites providing tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services.

Launch of the TDRS-K on the Atlas V rocket is planned for January 29, 2013. The first stage of the Atlas V rocket that will carry the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K, into orbit has been erected at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station‘s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. Photo Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite project, known as TDRS, provides follow-on and replacement spacecraft necessary to maintain and expand the NASA Space Network. TDRS-K, as the newest satellite is called, is scheduled for launch Jan. 29, 2013. TDRS-K is the first of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet. Each of the new satellites has a higher performance solar panel design to provide more spacecraft power. This upgrade will return signal processing for the S-Band multiple access service to the ground — the same as the first-generation TDRS spacecraft. Ground-based processing allows TDRS to service more customers with different and evolving communication requirements. more> ttp://


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