NASA Sets TDRS-L/Atlas V Launch Events Coverage Schedule

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January 14, 2014

NASA Sets TDRS-L/Atlas V Launch Events Coverage Schedule

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-L (TDRS-L) is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Jan. 23 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. The 40-minute launch window extends from 9:05 to 9:45 p.m. EST.

Prelaunch media briefings and launch commentary coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The TDRS-L spacecraft is the second of three next generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet, which now consists of eight satellites in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft provide tracking, telemetry, command, and high bandwidth data return services for numerous science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth. These include NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. TDRS-L has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements.

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., Tuesday, Jan. 21.

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-L project manager
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

--Andy Kopito, Civil Space Programs director, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems
El Segundo, Calif.

-- Clay Flinn, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Accreditation and Media Access Badges for Kennedy Space Center

The deadline for accreditation has passed. Accredited media may obtain access badges at the Gate 2 press accreditation office (PIDS) 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 867-2468.

Hours for the press accreditation office (PIDS) for the news media on State Road 3 are Jan. 21 from 6 a.m. to noon, Jan. 22 from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Jan. 23 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and also from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Atlas V Launch Vehicle Rollout

Wednesday, Jan. 22: 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 8:45 a.m. for transportation to the viewing location near Space Launch Complex 41.

Remote Camera Placement at Space Launch Complex 41

Wednesday, Jan. 22: Photographers who wish to set up remote sound-activated cameras at the Atlas V launch pad will be transported to Space Launch Complex 41. Media should meet in the Kennedy Press Site parking lot at 2:15 p.m. Only photographers establishing remote cameras may go to the pad for this opportunity.        

Launch Day Press Site Access

Thursday, Jan. 23: Media will cover the TDRS-L launch from Kennedy’s Press Site.   Photographers only also may cover the launch from Static Test Road, a location on the Banana River; however, there is no power or other facilities there. Photographers should sign up for this location at the Press Site media desk. News media access to Kennedy Space Center for launch 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

Tuesday, Jan. 21:  6 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 22:  6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 23:  8 a.m. - 1:30 a.m.

NASA Television Coverage

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, NASA Television will carry the TDRS-L prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing live beginning at 1 p.m. EST.  Question-and-answer capability will be available from other NASA field centers. Call-in questions also will be taken by dialing 321-867-2468 no later than 15 minutes before the start of each briefing to establish a position in the queue.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude after the TDRS-L 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-L 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 conference 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.  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-L spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket will be available on NASA's home page on the Internet at:

A prelaunch webcast for the TDRS-L mission will be streamed on NASA’s website at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 22. Live countdown coverage through NASA's Launch Blog begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23. 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 Nancy Bray at 321-867-9112. For NASA’s Launch Blog, visit:

To view the webcast or to learn more about the TDRS-L mission, visit:

Social Media

Join the conversation and follow the TDRS-L 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 throughout the launch countdown at:

Recorded Status

Recorded status reports and updates to the media advisory on the TDRS-L launch will be provided through the Kennedy media phone line starting Tuesday, Jan. 21.  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.


George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Rachel Kraft
Headquarters, Washington

Dewayne Washington
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

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