Press Release

Launch of NASA’s TDRSS-H Satellite Scheudled for June 29

By SpaceRef Editor
June 21, 2000
Filed under

Dwayne Brown

NASA Headquarters

George Diller

Kennedy Space Center

Susan Hendrix

Goddard Space Flight Center

KSC Release No: 52-00

Note to Editors/News Directors:

The launch of NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-H (TDRS-H)
aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket (AC-139) is scheduled for
Thursday, June 29. Liftoff is targeted to occur at the opening of a launch
window that extends from 8:38 – 9:18 a.m. EDT, a duration of 40 minutes.
Launch will occur from Pad A at Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force

TDRS-H is the first in a new series of three Tracking and
Data Relay Satellites designed to replenish the existing on-orbit fleet of
six spacecraft, the first of which was launched in 1983. It is also the
first TDRS spacecraft designed to be launched on an expendable vehicle
instead of the Space Shuttle. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System
is the primary source of air-to-ground voice, data and telemetry for the
Space Shuttle. It also provides the communications and data capability for
the International Space Station and scientific spacecraft in low earth orbit
such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This
new advanced series of satellites will extend the availability of TDRS
communications services until approximately 2010.

TDRS-H Prelaunch Press Conference

The prelaunch press conference will be held at the NASA-KSC News
Center on Wednesday, June 28, at 10 a.m. EDT. Participating in the briefing
will be:

* Robert Spearing, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Space

* Stan Newberry, Director, Space Operations Management Office, Johnson
Space Center

* Randy Brinkley, Senior Program Vice President, Hughes Space and

* Chuck Dovale, NASA Launch Manager, Kennedy Space Center

* Adrian Laffitte, Director, Atlas Launch Operations, Lockheed Martin

* Anthony Comberiate, TDRS Project Manager, Goddard Space Flight

* James Sardonia, Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, USAF

No post-launch news conference is planned.

Press Coverage

Media who wish to cover the prelaunch press conference and the
launch of TDRS-H should send a letter of request on news organization
letterhead. Include the full names, Social Security numbers and birth dates
of those desiring accreditation. Letters should be faxed to 321/867-2692 or
may be addressed to:

TDRS-H Launch Accreditation


Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

TDRS-H/AC-139 mission badges may be picked up at the NASA-KSC News
Center beginning on Monday, June 26. Badges may also be obtained on launch
day at the Gate 1 Pass and Identification Building of Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station on SR 401 starting at 7 a.m. with prior approval. Foreign
press must apply for accreditation in advance, no later than June 28.

To expedite the launch day badging process, all media
planning to cover TDRS-H/AC-139 should call the KSC News Center at 867-2468
no later than Wednesday, June 28. On June 29, after receiving a NASA TDRS-H
mission badge required for all media covering launch from Press Site 1, the
Air Force will issue a car placard necessary for vehicles to gain access
through Gate 1.

Remote Camera Placement

On Wednesday, June 28 at 11 a.m. following the prelaunch press
conference, a van will depart from the NASA-KSC News Center for Complex 36
for media photographers to establish remote cameras at the pad. There will
be no access or transportation from Gate 1 for remote camera set-ups.

NASA-KSC News Center Hours for Launch

The NASA-KSC News Center will open on launch day at 7 a.m. and close
at 4:30 p.m. A news release confirming a successful launch and a properly
functioning spacecraft in orbit will be released from the News Center at
approximately L+90 minutes.

NASA Television Coverage

NASA Television will carry live the TDRS-H/AC-139 prelaunch press
conference on Wednesday, June 28 at 10 a.m. A two-way question-and-answer
capability will be available from other NASA field centers.

A complete TDRS-H video package will be broadcast during the NASA TV
video file scheduled for noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight EDT on
June 27 and June 28.

On launch day, June 29, launch commentary will begin at 7 a.m. EDT
and continue through spacecraft separation at L+30 minutes.

The prelaunch press conference and launch coverage will be carried
on the NASA “V” audio circuits which may be accessed by dialing
321/867-1220, 1240, 1260, 7135, 4003, and 4920.

NASA Television is available on the GE-2 satellite, transponder 9C,
located at 85 degrees West. The coverage will also be webcast on the
NASA-KSC home page at

Status Reports

Recorded status reports on the launch of TDRS-H/AC-139 will be
available on the KSC news media codaphone starting on Monday, June 26. The
telephone number is 321/867-2525.

– end –

SpaceRef staff editor.