NASA has been launching TDRS satellites since 1983
In this photo taken from video provided by NASA, Atlas V rocket liftoff from from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. photo: NASA via AP, photo: NASA via AP
18 of August 2017 14:19:11
CAPE CANAVERAL – 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 satellite in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network . It rode to orbit aboard an unmanned Atlas V rocket. There were handshakes all around two hours later, when the satellite successfully separated from the rocket's upper stage."''We're going to really celebrate this one," said launch director Tim Dunn.NASA has been launching TDRS satellites since 1983. The 22,300-mile-high constellation links ground controllers with the International Space Station and other low-orbiting craft including Hubble."It's like our baby," said NASA's Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation."People have invested their soul and their sweat into making it happen" over the decades, Younes said on the eve of launch. "This spacecraft has served us so well."