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Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Project
Building 12 Suite C004
8800 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) is in a temporary home at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida waiting to be attached to a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will take it into Earth orbit Thursday, Jan. 23. The TDRS-L spacecraft arrived at Kennedy Friday, Dec. 6.
NASA has accepted ownership of its newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) from Boeing after successfully completing in orbit testing. TDRS-K, will be renamed TDRS-11 upon entry into service. On Jan. 30, TDRS-K was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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.
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.