February 1st, 2013
12:58 PM ET

NASA launches communications satellite

If you think the days of staring in amazement at NASA space launches are behind us, you’re wrong.

There are no space shuttles leaving the United States at the moment, but NASA is still launching three communication satellites into orbit. The first capsule, known as TDRS-K, launched on Wednesday at 8:48 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. TDRS stands for Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.

The next one, TDRS-L, is scheduled for launch in 2014. The manufacturing process for the final satellite in the trio, TDRS-M, will be completed in 2015.

NASA says these new satellites are designed with a higher performance solar panel, which should help improve power and return faster communications to the ground.

Take a look at the video above for an up-close view of the rumbling rocket, the take-off from base and a glowing stream of fire and smoke.

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Filed under: News
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Bo Lalka

    Solar energy is a natural source of energy that comes directly from the sun. When solar energy hits the earth it spreads over the earth’s surface and provides warmth evenly. If you could capture the sun’s rays into a particular area for a long period of time it would provide enough warmth for nighttime or on cloudy days. Learning where to find solar energy can help you to get started today. Solar energy does not cost anything because it comes from the sun. The source that you choose may cost some but in the long run it should be your only expense, unlike gas or oil heaters that you continue to pay for monthly in order to have power or gas heat in your home. Solar power can provide heating, cooling and ventilation.^

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    April 13, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  2. J.A.Redding

    i Remember tha days when tha U.S. was 2nd in tha Space Race to launch a HUMAN BEING into SPACE. Now American news sources report tha U.S.'s successful UN-manned satillite launches like they are Amazing – but they are NOT!! Even North & South Korea can put satillites in orbit these days, THAT'S how BASIC UN-manned Space Launches are these days! Yes, space launches are STILL complex, but in 2013 they are "easy" enough for BACKWARD, JOKE nations like N. Korea to pull them off – & the U.S. is only capable of MATCHING a JOKE nation's abilities! This is sooo embarassing! & this is PROOF that the U.S. is no longer a world leader in technology or in smarts! But then again, most other FUNCTIONAL Human-Space-Launching Nations say that the U.S. NEVER had the SMARTS, we ONLY got to space because we had NAZI GERMANY's rocket geniuses: von Braun, et al. & that might be true since we couldn't MATCH the lift force od his Saturn V rocket for DECADES!! So, when America can ACTUALLY put Humans into space again, i'M UNIMPRESSED!

    February 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  3. Mary Jane

    Looks like another successful spy satellite was put into orbit. I love the very public explanation that it's a communication satellite. I wonder how our snooper satellite is doing prowling around space spying on every other satellite in orbit, relaying the coordinates back to us so we know exactly where every single piece of equipment orbiting earth is at all times. I love these top Secret gadgets that have to be explained away as something else, or as space mishaps. The whole cat and mouse game is quite amusing.

    February 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • j was censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

      NASA – Our First Lunar Program: What did we get from Apollo? http://www.nasa.gov/.../first_lunar_program.ht... Oct 17, 2007 ... Even if the Apollo missions had never landed on the Moon, the program as a whole stimulated projects ...

      NASA Technical Reports Server – Did We Really Land on the ... nix.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R...qs... ... lunar landings had all been staged in a studio set in Nevada, and that astronauts had never landed on the Moon.

      "never landed on the moon" site:.nasa.gov

      ...the United States won the race.

      Even if the Apollo missions had never landed on the Moon, the program as a whole stimulated projects that learned an enormous amount about our own planet, Earth. The earliest and even now one of the most productive of these projects was Landsat, agreed by even the most severe NASA critics to have been an enormously valuable program...

      Retrieved http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/series/moon/first_lunar_program.html

      Let's replace propaganda for science in human space exploration and colonization!

      February 4, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  4. j was censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

    How can we colonize the Moon, Mars and probably many more; Just ask me; But not just at CNN Lightyears...

    February 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  5. j is censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

    Let's put science back into human space exploration.

    Will I need to announce to the populace, "j is censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted!"

    I will in a minute; I have a voice; Do you have a mind? What quality is it? Par where? Here? No, "I...


    February 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • j is censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

      I do believe we have a cold case sensitive affectionI need to get a better interface Houston.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • j is censored on CNN, multiple comments never posted par let's golf

      Disdain the facts you breed ignorance and delete knowledge not just @CNN.

      February 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  6. j's

    Censored 🙁

    February 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  7. j

    Before John Glenn flew this would be an interesting news story. Lajka, Luna 24 and the ISS at ~200 miles above sea level (which is ~99,800 miles inside our atmosphere) show current lack of the scientic method for humans in outer space. Could someone please send a hungry for green cheese mouse or two hamsters to our Moon so we an place science back into human space exploration instead of cold propaganda?

    February 1, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • bobcat

      The atmosphere ends at 62 miles. No study or source says otherwise. It is proven fact.

      February 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
      • j

        Which layer of the Atmosphre, International Space Spation (ISS) is?... answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200… [Dec 1, 2007] Best Answer: The ISS orbit is about 340 km above the Earth. The thermosphere is the layer of the earth's atmosphere between 80 and 500 km above the Earth ...

        atmosphere iss


        Deleted 1 time

        February 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
      • j is censored, multiple comments never posted

        We can easily colonize more than the Moon, today.

        February 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm |


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