Rocket Launch: August 18, 2017 8:03 AM | ULA Atlas V TDRS-MAug 18, 2017 08:03 AM Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Space Launch Complex 41 ULA Atlas V TDRS-M
NASA’s Tracking Data Relay System (TDRS) is a network of specialized satellites that provide communications services to numerous NASA spacecraft. The addition, the TDRS-M satellite will enable space communication between spacecraft and Earth for 15 additional years, replenishing NASA’s Space Network. The satellites enable near-constant communication between Earth and missions like the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope. Without the Space Network, scientists, engineers and control room staff would be unable to readily access data from missions such as these.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of admission and a launch transportation/viewing ticket. Availability of viewing opportunities and locations is dependent upon the scheduled launch time and is subject to NASA and U.S. Air Force approval. Launch viewing opportunities for TDRS-M are available at LC-39 Observation Gantry, Apollo/Saturn V Center and at the main visitor complex. You must purchase a daily admission ticket or an annual pass in order to use launch transportation/viewing tickets.
Launch viewing opportunities for TDRS-M are now available at the following locations:
- LC-39 Observation Gantry, approximately 2.3 miles/3.7 kilometers from launch pad - $49 in addition to daily admission. SOLD OUT
- Apollo/Saturn V Center, approximately 5.4 miles/8.7 kilometers from launch pad - $20 in addition to daily admission
- The main visitor complex outside of Space Shuttle Atlantis®, approximately 7.1 miles/11.4 kilometers from launch pad - included with daily admission
Tickets for launch viewing at Apollo/Saturn V Center are available online. All locations offers bleacher seating and launch commentary, and have access to restrooms, dining and souvenirs. Additionally, the LC-39 Observation Gantry package includes a light snack and souvenir t-shirt.
For this launch, the visitor complex will open at 5:30 a.m. and will remain open until 6:00 p.m.
The attractions and exhibits within the complex will open at 8:00 a.m.
After arriving and parking at the visitor complex, launch viewing/transportation ticket holders are transported by bus from the inside the main visitor complex to these special viewing areas at Kennedy Space Center, behind NASA’s gates. Security protocol requires that all ticket holders must be transported by only visitor complex tour buses to these secure facilities. Bus boarding for launch viewing/transportation ticket holders should note:
- LC-39 Observation Gantry - begins 6:15 a.m. at the nose of the Saturn 1B rocket in the Rocket Garden
- Apollo/Saturn V Center - begins 5:45 a.m. at the regular bus tour embarkation
Since launch days often have many extra visitors, please allow time for travel, parking and entering the complex, including security bag check. Arrive early to ensure your favorite viewing spot! Refunds cannot be offered for late arrivals. Be sure to read about our Launch Scrub Policy.
Learn more about how to prepare for launch viewing as a visitor.
NOTE: Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute.
The Atlas V rocket was introduced by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in August 2002. The Atlas V was developed to provide launch services to the U.S. government and is a part of the Atlas program which in total has logged more than 600 launches to date. Since their debut, Atlas V vehicles have achieved 100 percent mission success in launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Space Launch Complex-3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The rocket uses a standard common core booster™ (CCB), up to five strap-on solid rocket boosters (SRB), an upper-stage Centaur in either the Single-Engine Centaur (SEC) or the Dual-Engine Centaur (DEC) configuration, and one of several payload fairings (PLF). For this mission, Atlas V will fly in a 401 configuration with four-meter fairing and no solid rocket boosters.