NASA & Boeing launch joint probe into ‘incident’ during satellite pre-launch check
The incident is said to have happened during final ‘close-out’ checks on the Boeing-built Tracking Data Relay Satellite mission (TDRS-M) at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, on July 14.
‘Close-out’ teams carry out the final hands-on preparations before every NASA launch.
The setback involved the spacecraft’s Omni S-band antenna, according to a statement from the space agency. NASA said a mission team is currently “developing a plan to assess flight acceptance” ahead of its launch date next month.
TDRS-M is scheduled to launch August 3 atop the Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The device has an in-orbit lifespan of 15 years, according to Boeing.
The satellite is designed to join NASA’s constellation of communications satellites which facilitate contact between orbiting spacecraft, like the International Space Station and other scientific observatories.