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TDRS K Launch Wed night

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite K (TDRS K) is bound for geosynchronous orbit to replenish the existing space network to transmit information between low-Earth-orbit craft and mission controllers. Users depending on the system include the space station, Hubble and NASA's fleet of scientific missions.
The Atlas 5 rocket will inject the Boeing-built satellite into a highly elliptical transfer orbit, and the spacecraft will spend about 10 days maneuvering itself into a circular orbit 22,300 miles above the Pacific for testing and checkout.
Its operational location is targeted to be 171 degrees West longitude.
The two mobile trailers connected to the launching platform, which were part of the convoy during this morning's rollout, soon will be hooked up to power and communications systems at the pad. These trailers provide conditioned air to the payload and communications with the rocket during the rollout and the countdown. They are protected from the blast of launch by a concrete structure on the north-side of the platform.
Within the next hour, the auto couplers between the pad and platform will be engaged to route umbilical connections from the ground to the rocket for tomorrow's fueling of the booster with cryogenic propellants.
Later today, the undercarriages used to move the mobile platform will be disconnected and the "trackmobiles" pulled free.
And the first stage will be loaded with its supply of highly refined kerosene fuel, called RP-1.
Ground crews will secure the rocket for a quiet evening leading into the launch opportunity tomorrow. Countdown clocks will start ticking about seven hours before liftoff time.
Wednesday's 40-minute launch window opens at 8:48 p.m. and closes at 9:28 p.m. EST.
Here's a timeline of the countdown's key events:

HR:MM..Eastern...Event

T-6:20...1:48pm...Countdown begins with rocket power up
T-5:30...2:38pm...Weather briefing
T-4:55...3:13pm...Start clearing assembly building area
T-4:20...3:48pm...C-band tracking beacon testing
T-3:40...4:28pm...S-band telemetry link checks
T-2:55...5:13pm...Establish blast danger area roadblocks
T-2:20...5:48pm...Weather briefing
T-2:15...5:53pm...Clear the pad
T-2:00...6:08pm...T-120 minutes and holding (for 30min)
T-2:00...6:15pm...LIVE NASA Television coverage begins
T-2:00...6:33pm...Launch conductor briefing to team
T-2:00...6:35pm...Readiness poll for fueling
T-2:00...6:38pm...Resume countdown
T-1:50...6:48pm...Centaur LOX transfer line chilldown
T-1:43...6:55pm...Begin Centaur liquid oxygen loading
T-1:30...7:08pm...Begin Atlas first stage LOX loading
T-1:25...7:13pm...Centaur LH2 transfer line chilldown
T-1:10...7:28pm...Centaur RL10 engine chilldown
T-1:02...7:36pm...Begin Centaur liquid hydrogen loading
T-0:40...7:58pm...FLight termination system final test
T-0:16...8:22pm...RD-180 engine fuel fill sequence
T-0:10...8:28pm...Weather briefing
T-0:04...8:34pm...T-4 minutes and holding (for 10min)
T-0:04...8:37pm...Readiness poll for launch
T-0:04...8:44pm...Resume countdown
T-0:00...8:48pm...LAUNCH

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