NASA To Delay Launch of Next-Gen Satellite After Hitch

NASA and Boeing officers are assessing the incidence that is caused by an antenna on the next-generation satellite that is scheduled to launch on August 3. The hitch occurred on Friday last week and the space agency had already announced it on its website by Saturday.

The Tracking Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-M) was expected to fly into space on a rocket aboard the United Launch Alliance V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located at Space Coast. The team encountered the last minute hitch during the final closeout preparations of the spacecraft. In a statement by the mission team, the officials gave no signals on whether the episode may lead to delays in launching the rocket.

The probe team is creating another plan to evaluate the possibilities of the spacecraft conformity with the schedule forward. The announcement about the incidence was communicated from the Astrotech Space Operations, Titusville, Florida about the Omni S-band antenna.

The team is currently reviewing the possible alternative approaches that will enable them successfully launch the rocket by August 3. The newest incidence is not however related to the ‘close call’ problem that NASA engineers were investigating earlier. The first occurrence was associated with the spacecraft’s shipping pot that contained the environmental instruments which slid deep into the trailers in which it was craned on to.

The Atlas V vessel which will facilitate the spacecraft with the smooth ride into the orbit is apparently being integrated into the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) located at Space Launch Complex. The rocket is in perfect condition and the current problem facing the engineers is not related to its operations.

The probe is the 13th spacecraft that NASA is initiating in Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System with the TDRS-M being the final spacecraft in the category of three third generations. The first two generation satellites were launched between 2007 and 2011 and NASA has had two alternatives to instigate two additional spacecrafts in space. The next one is the TDRS, which will be the third rocket. All the spacecrafts are still in the operational use.

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