Tracking and Data Relay Satellite
American telecommunication program operated by
Some TDRS satallites have got a so called commercial payload, operated by
Columbia Communications (C-band). Provides communications, tracking, telemetry,
data acquisition and command services essential to Shuttle and low-Earth
orbital spacecraft missions. The TDRS system can provide communications
services to orbital spacecraft over 85 percent of each orbit for most
satellites, and continuous service for some orbital positions.
The TDRS system was initiated following studies in the early 1970s which showed
that a system of telecommunications satellites, operated from a single ground
station, could meet the needs of NASA's mission better and more
cost-effectively than the then existing network of tracking and communications
ground stations located around the world.
In addition to the
TDRS customers include
and other military missions.
TDRS control center is in White Sands, New Mexico.
Commercial telecommunication services (C-band) are available via
through 31 Dec 2001 (option to extend TDRS 5 & 6 through 2003)
In late 2007, TDRS K and L were ordered from Boeing for $695 million. Options
for two more satellites could later be exerciced. Those 2 satellites will be
based on the BS-702 platform, and launched in 2012 and 2013.
The last TDRS, M, was ordered in Nov 2011 for $289 million.