Press Release

NASA Sets TDRS-K/Atlas V Launch Events Coverage

By SpaceRef Editor
January 11, 2013
Filed under ,

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are set for the launch of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K, or TDRS-K, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Jan. 29. The 40-minute launch window extends from 8:52 to 9:32 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Launch commentary coverage, as well as prelaunch media briefings, will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

TDRS-K is the first of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA. Each of the new satellites has a higher performance solar panel design for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements. The TDRS system provides critical support from several locations in geostationary orbit for an array of science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

Prelaunch News Conference

A prelaunch news conference on NASA TV will be held at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site at 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28.

Briefing participants are:

— Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator, Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, Washington

— Tim Dunn, NASA launch director Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

— Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

— Jeffrey Gramling, NASA TDRS-K project manager Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

— Joel Tumbiolo, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Accreditation and Media Access Badges for Kennedy Space Center

Media who want to cover the TDRS-K prelaunch news conference and the launch must apply for credentials at:

Accreditation requests by foreign media must be received by noon on Jan. 17. U.S. media request must be received by 4 p.m. on Jan. 23. Media may obtain their access badge at the Gate 2 Pass and Identification Building for the news media on State Road 3. Two forms of government-issued identification, one with a photo, will be required in order to receive a badge to cover the prelaunch news conference, the Atlas V launch vehicle rollout to the pad and the launch. For further information about accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468.

The press accreditation office (PIDS) for the news media on State Road 3 will be open on Jan. 28 between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Jan. 29, the hours are from 7:30 a.m. until noon and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Atlas V Launch Vehicle Rollout

Monday, Jan. 28: There will be a media opportunity to observe rollout of the Atlas V rocket from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad. Media should be at Kennedy’s Press Site at 9 a.m. for transportation to the viewing location near Space Launch Complex 41.

Remote Camera Placement at Space Launch Complex 41

Monday, Jan. 28: Photographers who wish to set up remote sound-activated cameras at the Atlas V launch pad will be transported to Space Launch Complex 41 after the prelaunch news conference. Media should meet in the Kennedy Press Site parking lot at 2 p.m.

Launch Day Press Site Access

Tuesday, Aug. 29: Media will cover the TDRS-K launch from Kennedy’s Press Site. Access will be through Gate 3 on State Road 405, east of Kennedy’s visitor complex and through Gate 2 on State Road 3.

Kennedy News Center Hours

Monday, Jan. 28: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: 8 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

NASA Television Coverage

On Monday, Jan. 28, NASA Television will carry the TDRS-K prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing live beginning at 1 p.m. EST.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 6:15 p.m. and conclude after the TDRS-K spacecraft has separated from the Atlas V, which occurs one hour, forty-six minutes after launch. Live launch coverage will be carried on all NASA Television channels.

A post-launch news conference will not be held. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the TDRS-K spacecraft is known. Spokespersons also will be available at the press site to answer questions.

For NASA Television downlink information, schedule information and streaming video, visit:

Audio only of the press conferences and the launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220 or -1240 or -1260 or -7135. On launch day, “mission audio,” the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 5:30 p.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage

Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the liftoff of the TDRS-K spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket will be available on NASA’s home page on the Internet at:

A prelaunch webcast for the TDRS-K mission will be streamed on NASA’s website at noon on Monday, Jan. 28. Live countdown coverage through NASA’s Launch Blog begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.

To view the webcast and the blog or to learn more about the TDRS-K mission, visit:

Social Media

Join the conversation and follow the TDRS-K mission online by using the #TDRS on Twitter and Facebook at:

Throughout the launch countdown, the NASAKennedy Twitter and Facebook accounts will be continuously updated at:

Recorded Status

Recorded status reports and updates to the media advisory on the TDRS-K launch will be provided through the Kennedy media phone line starting Friday, Jan. 25. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.

Wireless Capability

Wireless capability for news media is available at Kennedy’s Press Site.

NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program, part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. The TDRS spacecraft project is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.

SpaceRef staff editor.