- About Us
- Launch Vehicle
- Ground Segment
- Missions Enabled
- TDRS-K Press Kit
- Heritage Press Kits
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Project
Building 12 Suite C004
8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
GREENBELT, Md. -- On April 4, 1983, space shuttle Challenger began its maiden voyage carrying a new NASA satellite that would revolutionize low-Earth orbit communications forever. A prime objective of the sixth space shuttle mission was the deployment NASA's first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, also known as TDRS-A. The next day, astronauts released TDRS-A from the shuttle cargo bay.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The first of NASA's three next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS), known as TDRS-K, launched at 8:48 p.m. EST Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. TDRS-K was lifted into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41.
News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida are set for the launch of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K, or TDRS-K, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket Jan. 29. The 40-minute launch window extends from 8:52 to 9:32 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The TDRS Project is building three space communications satellites that are part of a follow-on spacecraft fleet that will replenish NASA's Space Network. The TDRS Project Office at Goddard Space Flight Center manages the TDRS development effort. TDRS is the responsibility of the Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) office within the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. Operations of the network are the responsibility of the Space Network Project at Goddard.
In December 2007, NASA signed a contract for Boeing Space Systems to build two third generation TDRS spacecraft for launch in 2013 and 2014. An option for a third TDRS spacecraft was executed in 2011. Within the contract there were required modifications that would enable the White Sands Complex ground system to support the new spacecraft.
The January 30, 2013 launch of TDRS-K began the replenishment of the fleet through the development and deployment of the next generation spacecraft. Replenishment will continue with TDRS-L, scheduled to launch in 2014, TDRS-M which will be ready in 2015. These satellites will ensure the Space Network's continuation of around-the-clock, high throughput communications services to NASA's missions; serving the scientific community and human spaceflight program for many years to come.