A Centaur stage arrives the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center, or ASOC, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to begin processing. The Centaur will be part of a launch vehicle that will boost the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K, or TDRS-K, into Earth orbit atop an Atlas V rocket. Lift off is scheduled for 11:57 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2012 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral.
The TDRS-K spacecraft is part of the next-generation series in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, a constellation of space-based communication satellites providing tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services. For more information, visit http://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ Photo credit: NASA/Charisse Nahser