Jan 26, 2013

Countdown to NASA's Atlas V Launch

So I'm 3.5 hours into a long solo drive to Cape Canaveral Florida where I have a HOT date with a stranger I met online.

Hot as in over 627,000 lbs of liquid oxygen and a sweeet mix of rocket fuel propellants Hot.

According to the countdown clock, my hot date is 4 days, 8 hours, 45 minutes and 57 seconds away.  It seems my date is counting down the time even more closely than I.  And, I might add, he has a whole team of brilliant engineers preparing him for the date.

My date is with NASA's Atlas V rocket and he (I just can't call my date a she) will be launching on Wednesday, Jan. 30th between 8 and 9 pm.   The Atlas V is carrying the TDRS-K satellite, the first of three satellites that will freshen up, really modernize, NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.  When in place, the TDRS-K will be orbiting the earth at 22,300 miles.  From NASA:
 Each of the new satellites has a higher performance solar panel design to provide more spacecraft power. This upgrade will return signal processing for the S-Band multiple access service to the ground -- the same as the first-generation TDRS spacecraft. Ground-based processing allows TDRS to service more customers with different and evolving communication requirements. 

TDRS-K concept image from The Boeing Co.

OK, my rest stop is over.  Back to the road I go.  Errr... after I check Twitter to catch up with the other #NASASocial #TDRS attendees and see who is where and arriving when.   See you there?!

My last NASA TweetUp:  Ron Garan
Launch Events Coverage
Are you a space geek?  Find out if you have the right stuff to plot the course for future space missions - Take NASA's Quiz.

No comments: