FREE image of TDRS-L Liftoff
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – At Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, dual rocket engines roar to life under the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will boost NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, to Earth orbit. Liftoff was at 9:33 p.m. EST Jan. 23 during a 40-minute launch window. 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 Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System TDRSS 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. TDRSS is one of three NASA Space Communication and Navigation SCaN networks providing space communications to NASA’s missions. For more information more about TDRS-L, visit http://www.nasa.gov/tdrs. To learn more about SCaN, visit www.nasa.gov/scan. Photo credit: NASA/George Roberts
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