The United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle that will boost the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, spacecraft into orbit arrives at the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for checkout in preparation for launch.
TDRS-L is the second of three next-generation satellites designed to ensure vital operational continuity for the NASA Space Network. It is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 atop an Atlas V rocket in January 2014. The current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system consists of eight in-orbit satellites distributed to provide near continuous information relay service to missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/content/tracking-and-data-relay-satellite-tdrs/ Photo credit: NASA/ Jim Grossman