CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K), set to launch this month, will be the focus of a media opportunity at 10 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 11, at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla. Media representatives will be able to photograph the TDRS-K spacecraft and interview project and launch program officials.
The spacecraft is the first of three next generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA by expanding the lifespan of the fleet, which consists of 7 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-K has a high-performance solar panel designed for more spacecraft power to meet the growing S-band communications requirements.
Spokespersons representing NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; the Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida; and United Space Alliance will be available for questions and interviews.
Full clean room attire must be worn and will be furnished. Journalists should not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. Long pants and closed-toe shoes must be worn. No shorts or skirts will be permitted. Contamination control specialists may identify some camera equipment to be cleaned before taken into the high bay facility. Alcohol wipes will be provided. All camera equipment must be self-contained and no portable lights can be allowed. Flash photography will not be permitted; however, the facility has adequate metal halide lighting for pictures. Wireless microphones also are prohibited inside the high bay.
On Jan. 11, U.S. news media representatives may proceed directly to Astrotech, which is located in the Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville. Access will be available starting at 9:45 a.m., and the event will begin at 10 a.m.
Only news media who are United States citizens may attend this event. A government issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or permanently-issued NASA news media accreditation badge from Kennedy will be acceptable. In addition, proof of U.S. citizenship such as a passport or birth certificate also is required.
TDRS-K is scheduled to liftoff aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Jan. 29 in a launch window that extends from 8:52 to 9:32 p.m. EST.
Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, Calif., built the TDRS-K. 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. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket and launch service.
Media representatives should call Kennedy's media update phone line at 321-867-2525 on Thursday evening to confirm the event is on schedule.
For more information about TDRS-K, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/tdrs