Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

ULA launch weather 80-percent go, US Air Force says

ULA launch weather 80-percent go, US Air Force says

TDRS-M launched Friday at 8:29 a.m. EDT from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

United Launch Alliance has rolled a rocket carrying a communications satellite out onto a Cape Canaveral launch pad, setting the stage for an early Friday liftoff.

When ready, TDRS-M will become part of NASA's Space Network providing navigation and high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, rockets and a host of other spacecraft.

The TDRS fleet began operating during the space shuttle era with the launch of TDRS-1 in 1983. "TDRS-M is going to be critical to the future operation, and the future of the space network", said Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for SCaN. An antenna on the satellite was damaged last month at a processing facility in Titusville, Florida.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. "In fact, the TDRS-K and TDRS-L spacecraft, launched by ULA in 2013 and 2014 tracked today's launch" said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Government Satellite Launch.

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), also referred to as the NASA Space Network, is a space-based communication system used to provide tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services. It rode to orbit aboard an unmanned Atlas V rocket.

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