Atlas V Rocket Defect Causes NASA Satellite Launch to be Delayed
Artist conception of the TDRS-K satellite.
Image credit: Boeing
The launch of NASA’s next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-K) has been delayed because of a rocket part needs to be replaced. The launch, originally set for Jan. 29, will now happen on the next day, Jan. 30.
The Atlas V, United Launch Alliance’s rocket charged with the launch, produced faulty signals during tests before connections were made to the explosives used to separate the rocket’s first and second stages. A replacement is being shipped from ULA’s manufacturing facility in Decatur, Ala. Once the part arrives and is installed, new tests will be conducted in the rocket’s vertical processing.
This will be Cape Canaveral’s first 2013 launch, which is now targeted for 8:48 p.m., at the opening of a 40-minute window. The TDRS-K satellite will facilitate almost continuous communication between the ground and spacecraft in low Earth orbit, including the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope.