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.
NASA will host a number of prelaunch activities at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Tuesday, Jan. 21
-- 1 p.m.: Prelaunch news conference on NASA TV at the Kennedy Press Site
Wednesday, Jan. 22
-- 9 a.m.: Transportation to Atlas V launch vehicle rollout departs the Kennedy Press Site parking lot (not on NASA TV)
-- 2:30 p.m.: Transportation for remote camera placement at Space Launch Complex 41 departs Kennedy Press Site parking lot (not on NASA TV)
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.
The deadline for accreditation requests has passed. Media may obtain access badges at the Gate 2 press accreditation office (PIDS). Two forms of government issued identification, one with a photo, will be required in order to receive a badge to cover the prelaunch news conference, the Atlas V launch vehicle rollout to the pad and the launch. For further information about accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 867-2468.
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.
For a complete list of all of TDRS-L's media opportunities, visit:
For NASA's TDRS-L launch blog, visit:
To learn more about the TDRS-L mission, visit: