Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA Accepts Third Generation TDRS Into Network

20.08.2013
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.

“This is a major step in replenishing an aging TDRS fleet which is essential in providing communications to support space exploration,” said Badri Younes, deputy associate administrator for Space Communications and Navigation at NASA Headquarters. “We look forward to the launch of two additional satellites in the next few years to complete the replenishment program.”


TDRS-k, ready for launch.
Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Boeing

The TDRS fleet provides communications support to an array of science missions, as well as several launch vehicles. The network has provided critical real-time communication with NASA’s human spaceflights since early in the Space Shuttle Program. TDRS network operations continue to provide support for International Space Station activities.

“The acceptance of this spacecraft is the result of many years of hard work by dedicated team members at NASA and Boeing,” said Jeffrey Gramling, TDRS project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “This next generation of spacecraft ensure network continuity for at least another decade.”

Goddard is home to the TDRS Project Office, which is responsible for the development and launch of the communication satellites. The Boeing Company headquartered in Chicago, Ill., is the private contractor for the TDRS K, L and M satellites. TDRS is the space element of NASA’s Space Network, providing the critical communication lifeline for NASA missions. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation Program, part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for NASA’s Space Network.

The TDRS fleet now consists of eight satellites with ground stations at White Sands, N.M. and Guam. NASA’s upgrade to the network includes modifications to those ground terminals.

The TDRS Project was established in 1973 to provide continuous communications to NASA’s critical low Earth-orbiting science and human spaceflight missions. When TDRS-1 was launched from space shuttle Challenger in 1983, TDRS spacecraft were the largest, most sophisticated communication satellites ever built. TDRS-1 provided NASA an exponential increase in data rates and contact time communicating with spacecraft.

NASA continued adding TDRS spacecraft (the first seven were built by TRW, later to become Northrop Grumman) until 1995. TDRS-2 was lost during the Challenger accident in 1986. From 2000 to 2002, NASA added three spacecraft to the fleet, establishing the second generation. The H, I, and J, satellites were built by Hughes (later to become Boeing) and continue to operate along with members of the now aging first generation. TDRS-1 was retired in 2010 and TDRS-4 in 2011.

On Jan. 30, TDRS-K was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Before this year’s launch it had been 10 years since NASA last added a TDRS to the network. These next-generation satellites are being built at Boeing’s Space & Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, Calif.

TDRS-K, L, M, together with the other spacecraft that continue to operate well beyond their design life, will ensure NASA’s critical missions will be supported into the 2020’s. The launch of TDRS-L is slated for January 2014 and TDRS-M will be ready for launch in December of 2015.

For more information about NASA’s TDRS satellites, visit:
http://tdrs.gsfc.nasa.gov
For more information about SCaN, visit:
www.nasa.gov/SCaN
Dewayne Washington
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Dewayne Washington | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/SCaN
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-accepts-third-generation-tdrs-into-network/#.UhKAJz92EhV

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>