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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

TDRS: Continuing The Fleet

January 29, 2013

NASA is preparing to launch the first in a series of three third generation advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, known as TDRS-K. This latest addition to the fleet of seven will augment a space communications network that provides the critical path for high data-rate communication to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, past shuttle missions and a host of other spacecraft.

It has been 10 years since NASA last launched a TDRS. This launch is the beginning of a welcome replenishment to the space network, which has served numerous national and international space missions since 1983.

credit:  NASA