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World

NASA Communications Satellite Damaged 3 Weeks Before Launch

The accident occurred inside a payload processing building near Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the satellite was being packed for launch

Technicians move one half of the payload fairing into place over the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) inside the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, photo: NASA/Frankie Martin
6 days ago

CAPE CANAVERAL – NASA’s newest, slickest communications satellite has been damaged, just three weeks before its planned August launch.

NASA said Monday that one of the antennas on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-M (T-driss-M), was damaged last Friday. The accident occurred inside a payload processing building near Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the satellite was being packed for launch.


Officials are providing no details. But the mishap could delay what was supposed to be an Aug. 3 liftoff aboard an Atlas V (five) rocket. In a brief statement, NASA says the mission team is assessing the damage and flight schedule.

TDRS-M is the third-generation in this satellite series. The orbiting network links ground controllers with the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and other spacecraft.

MARCIA DUNN

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