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Launch Photos: NASA's TDRS-K Communications Satellite Blasts Off

NASA Launches TDRS-K Communications Satellite

NASA TV

An Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA's TDRS-K next-generation satellite streaks spaceward from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 8:48 p.m. ET on Jan. 30, 2013.

Atlas 5 Rocket at Cape Canaveral

NASA TV

The Atlas 5 rocket is set to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida tonight (Jan. 30).

TDRS-K Set to Launch

NASA TV

The 11th Tracking Data and Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) is set to launch tonight (Jan. 30).

TDRS-K Set to Launch

NASA TV

The 11th Tracking Data and Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) and the Atlas 5 rocket that will take it to space at one hour until launch.

Mission Control during TDRS-K Launch

NASA TV

NASA's mission control room is full in anticipation of the TDRS-K launch tonight (Jan. 30).

Atlas 5 Moving the TDRS-K Satellite

Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance

NASA established the TDRS project in 1973 to provide around-the-clock and around-the-Earth communications for the network that routes voice calls, telemetry streams and television signals from the International Space Station, as well as other orbiting spacecraft.

NASA's TDRS-K Communications Satellite Explained (Infographic)

R. Toro/SPACE.com

See how NASA's TDRS-K and L satellite work with the agency's Tracking and Data Relay Satellites constellation to provide continuous contact with spacecraft orbiting Earth. See the full SPACE.com Infographic here.

SP_130128_TDRSK_Launch.jpg

NASA / GSFC

NASA Readies Addition To Fleet Of Communication Satellites

SP_130128_TDRSKCommunicationSatellite.jpg

NASA

NASA Preparing To Launch New Communication Satellite

Boeing Tech Checks Out TDRS-K Spacecraft

NASA/Jim Grossmann

In the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla. near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a Boeing technician checks out the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-K. This image was released Jan. 11, 2013.

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