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Communications Space NASA Transportation Technology

Atlas 5 Rocket Launches $400 Million NASA Satellite Into Space (spaceflightnow.com) 51

A new communications hub has been successfully deployed in space today thanks to the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. "TDRS is a critical national asset have because of its importance to the space station and all of our science missions, primarily the Hubble Space Telescope and Earth science missions that use TDRS," said Tim Dunn, NASA's TDRS-M launch director. Spaceflight Now reports: With its main engine running at full throttle, the Atlas 5 booster lifted off at 8:29 a.m. EDT (1229 GMT) from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The 191-foot-tall rocket, generating 860,000 pounds of thrust, aimed eastward and accelerated out of the atmosphere with NASA's TDRS-M spacecraft. Within just five minutes, the rocket had shed 92 percent of its liftoff weight and transitioned to the high-energy Centaur upper stage. An elliptical parking orbit was achieved within 18 minutes of takeoff, beginning a 90-minute quiescent coast higher through space to reach the optimum conditions for the second burn by Centaur. That minute-long boost over the Indian Ocean propelled the 7,610-pound payload into a customized high-perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit. The spacecraft was deployed by the launcher at T+plus 1 hour, 53 minutes to cheers and handshakes all around.

The $408 million TDRS-M was built and launched with the sole purpose to extend the useful life of NASA's constant communications infrastructure, supporting the astronauts around-the-clock aboard the International Space Station, supplying contact with the Hubble Space Telescope and transmitting the data from almost 40 science spacecraft studying Earth's environment and space.

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Atlas 5 Rocket Launches $400 Million NASA Satellite Into Space

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  • Nothing even landed back on Earth on a pillar of flame. Space-X has ruined ordinary throwaway the booster launches for everyone.
  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday August 19, 2017 @08:58AM (#55047495) Homepage

    Most of the comments carry a whiff of desperation as ULA tries to stay relevant during a time when SpaceX is driving down the cost of launches. The discrepancy is only going to get worse when SpaceX starts recovering the second stage.

    Sorry, ULA, but it looks like you're destined to become a casualty of the creative destruction of capitalism. SpaceX built a better mousetrap and you're invested in yesterday's technology.

  • "With its Russian main engine running at full throttle, the Atlas 5 booster lifted off at 8:29 a.m. EDT (1229 GMT) from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The 191-foot-tall rocket, with its Russian first stage generating 860,000 pounds of thrust, aimed eastward and accelerated out of the atmosphere with NASA's TDRS-M spacecraft".

    FTFH

  • The $408 million TDRS-M was built and launched with the sole purpose to extend the useful life of NASA's constant communications infrastructure, supporting the astronauts around-the-clock aboard the International Space Station, supplying contact with the Hubble Space Telescope and transmitting the data from almost 40 science spacecraft studying Earth's environment and space.

    The military and the NRO use a substantial portion of the TDRS systems bandwidth as well.

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