This is the Optical Module of the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration satellite scheduled for launch on December 7.(image sources: NASA, Wikipedia.org, By NASA - http://esc.gsfc.nasa.gov/267/278/291/Images/LLCD-Images.html (image link), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30231720)
By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
UPDATE - 2021 Dec. 7: NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Mission (LCRD) launch now targeted for Tuesday Morning, 2021 December 7, with a launch window of 4:04 to 6:04 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / 9:04 to 11:04 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
NASA-TV Live-stream coverage of launch begins December 7 at 3:30 a.m. EST / 8:30 UTC. Internet link to NASA-TV Live-stream coverage near end of this blog-post.
Previously scheduled launch dates had been Summer of 2021, November 22, December 4, December 5, and December 6. Recent delays in the launch of the LCRD have been due to the detection of a leak in a rocket propellant ground storage system. Weather prospects for a December 7 launch are 80 per-cent positive.
The launch of the LCRD mission is just one of several experimental satellites to be launched on the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the STP-3 mission from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on the east coast of Florida. The STP-3 mission will launch several classified Department of Defense satellites, in addition to the NASA LCRD mission, at a cost of $1.14 billion.
With the LCRD launch, NASA is testing the next step in optical communications. Using infrared lasers, this test will demonstrate the technology to transfer science data between Earth and space satellites and vehicles.
For more information on the LCRD mission, see the original blog-post of November 13:
NASA-TV Live-stream coverage of LCRD launch: Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive
Tuesday, 2021 December 7.
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Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
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Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>> http://www.planetarium.cc Buhl Observatory: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc
* Other Walsh Authored Blog &
Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html