NASA launched last TDRS satellite into network system

NASA launched the latest satellite tracker and communication on Friday as an important link for astronauts in orbit and the Hubble Space Telescope. The 13th satellite drove into orbit using an unmanned Atlas V rocket and will fill a Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) network system. About two hours later, the satellite managed to get out of the rocket stage to move to a predetermined position.

Tinuku NASA launched last TDRS satellite into network system

"We're really celebrating," says Team Dunn's launch director.

NASA has launched TDRS satellites since 1983 in building constellations at 22,300 altitude to connect ground controllers with the International Space Station and low orbiting satellites including Hubble. The launch cost US$540 million for rocket and setalit prices.

"People have invested their souls and sweat to make it happen for decades, this spacecraft has served us well," says NASA's Badri Younes

The last flight from Cape Canaveral was delayed two weeks due to a crane crashing into one of the satellite antennas last month. Boeing as a satellite maker then replaces the damaged antenna and takes corrective action to prevent future accidents.

The third generation is TDRS-M and the more sophisticated generation is laser-dependent LADEE to transmit more powerful data. NASA hopes to start launching this high-tech satellite in 2024. Until then, the space agency will rely on the current network.

NASA requires seven TDRS satellites active at any given time, six for real-time support and one for backup. In addition to serving other spacecraft, the satellites help provide communication to the outpost in the South Pole.