A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:29 a.m. EDT (1229 GMT) today to place NASA’s new tracking station into the sky. The data router will relay video, telemetry and science information from the space station and dozens of research satellites to a central ground terminal. Follow the ascent in our live journal.
Resembling a cocooned insect with antennas and appendages tucked snuggly to its body for launch, NASA’s latest communications relay hub will be shot into space Friday to blossom in geosynchronous orbit for routing signals to and from the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and three dozen science observatories.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket climbed into space Monday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center atop a column of gleaming exhaust, shooting a commercial resupply vessel toward the International Space Station with research projects looking into cosmic rays, the origin of Parkinson’s disease, the utility of small satellites and an experimental radiation-tolerant supercomputer.