TDRS-M Spacecraft Secured in Payload Fairing, Delivered to Launch Complex

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Inside the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida, the payload fairing for NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-M, is moved into position to encapsulate the spacecraft.

Inside the Astrotech facility in Titusville, Florida, the payload fairing for NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-M, is moved into position to encapsulate the spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) has passed two more milestones as preparations continue toward liftoff. Launch of the newest addition to the agency’s TDRS constellation is slated for Aug. 18 at 8:03 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Processing activities at the Astrotech payload processing facility in nearby Titusville wrapped up with the TDRS-M spacecraft safely encapsulated in the payload fairing that will protect it through the early minutes of liftoff. The fairing arrived at the launch complex Aug. 9 after an early morning move from Astrotech. Now in position atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the vehicle and spacecraft will undergo additional testing ahead of launch.