Daniel Casper, Associated Press
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA's super-high-flying fleet of communication satellites is about to grow.
An unmanned rocket is set to blast off Thursday night from Cape Canaveral with the latest, third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.
NASA uses the TDRS (TEE'-driss) satellites to support the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope, among other craft. The network is 22,300 miles high and allows continuous two-way contact with the space station and its six inhabitants.
This newest satellite is designated "L'' in the TDRS series. NASA will rename it TDRS-12 once it's checked out in orbit, by late spring.
The satellite costs about $350 million.
NASA launched its first TDRS in 1983 aboard a space shuttle.
Launch time is 9:05 p.m.
Online: NASA: http://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/
- A kiss, a prayer: The last hours of MH17's...
- Britain's little prince celebrates first...
- Herbert among 6 governors raising concerns...
- Appreciating sacrifice: Deployed soldiers...
- Medicaid enrollees strain Oregon; state...
- Plane crashes while landing in Taiwan,...
- 2 Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down
- Dutch say plane's black box damaged but not...
- Propaganda war continues in Hobby Lobby... 50
- Appeals courts issue contradictory... 48
- Herbert among 6 governors raising... 44
- Gov. Rick Perry sending National Guard... 23
- Despite crush of children, illegal... 16
- Obama voices concern about casualties... 14
- Obama fundraises for Dems; demands GOP... 13
- Unaccompanied children from Central... 12