NASA launches new satellite to ensure ISS astronauts can communicate with Earth – The satellite was launched today
In this photo taken from video provided by NASA, Atlas V rocket liftoff from from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. NASA launched the last of its longtime tracking and communication satellites on Friday, a vital link to astronauts in orbit as well as the Hubble Space Telescope. The end of the era came with a morning liftoff of TDRS-M, the 13th in the venerable Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network. It rode toward orbit aboard an unmanned Atlas V rocket. (PTI)
NASA today launched the latest in a series of satellites aimed at ensuring astronauts at the International Space Station can communicate with Earth.
The $408 million Boeing-made Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-M) soared into space atop an Atlas V rocket that launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 8:29 am (1229 GMT).
The satellite will “support critical space communication into the mid-2020s,” NASA said in a statement.
The satellite will facilitate space-to-ground communication for NASA’s low-Earth orbit operations, “ensuring scientists, engineers and control room staff can readily access data for missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.”
TDRS-M is the last of 13 such satellites that have been launched since 1983.
An antenna on the satellite was damaged last month at a processing facility in Titusville, Florida. The satellite was repaired, but the mishap set the launch back by about two weeks