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

NASA Launches TDRS-K Communications Satellite


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


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


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

TDRS-K Set to Launch


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'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/

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 Infographic here.



NASA Readies Addition To Fleet Of Communication Satellites



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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