TDRS K spacecraft encapsulated in nose cone

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite K (TDRS K) is encapsulated in the two-piece nose cone of the Atlas 5 rocket. The halves of the aluminum fairing were pushed together to shroud the satellite at the Astrotech processing facility in Titusville.

The fairing protects the delicate communications spacecraft during ascent through the atmosphere, then gets jettisoned four-and-a-half minutes into flight after the first stage drops away and the Centaur upper stage lights.

Liftoff remains scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 8:52 p.m. EST.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo credit: NASA-KSC

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