CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- News conferences, events and operating hours for the Press Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are set for the launch of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K) aboard an Atlas V rocket Tuesday, 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 communications satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for NASA. The seven TDRS spacecraft currently in orbit 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 growing S-band communications requirements.
On Monday, Jan. 28, NASA TV will carry the TDRS-K prelaunch news conference and mission science briefing live beginning at 1 p.m.
On Jan. 29, NASA TV launch coverage begins at 6:15 p.m., and concludes after the TDRS-K spacecraft has separated from the Atlas V, which occurs one hour, 46 minutes after launch.
A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the TDRS-K spacecraft is known. No post-launch news conference is scheduled.
Detailed lists of countdown milestones, news briefing times and participants, and hours of operation for Kennedy's Press Site and media credentialing office are available at: http://go.nasa.gov/VUuaRk
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 Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the TDRS spacecraft project. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket and launch service.
For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
To join the conversation about TDRS-K on Twitter, follow @NASA_TDRS and the hashtag #TDRS. To learn more about all of the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/connect
Follow TDRS-K on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/NASA.TDRS
To learn more about TDRS-K, follow prelaunch activities and live countdown coverage on NASA's Launch Blog, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/tdrs