Last NASA Communications Satellite of the Kind Joins Fleet

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NASA has begun handling a final satellite of a kind in a network that provides communications and tracking services to some-more than 40 NASA missions, including critical, real-time communication with the International Space Station. Following its August launch and a five-month duration of in-orbit testing, a third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), referred to as TDRS-M until this vicious milestone, was renamed TDRS-13, apropos a tenth operational satellite in a geosynchronous, space-based fleet.

An artist judgment of TDRS-M, now named TDRS-13.
Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

“With TDRS-13’s successful acceptance into a network, a swift is entirely replenished and set to continue carrying out a vicious goal by a mid-2020s,” pronounced Badri Younes, NASA’s emissary associate director for Space Communications and Navigation during NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now, we have begun focusing on a subsequent era of near-Earth communications send capabilities.”

The 10 TDRS booster contain a space-based apportionment of the Space Network, relaying signals from low-Earth-orbiting missions with scarcely 100 percent coverage.

“The acceptance of this final third-generation TDRS into a Space Network is a outcome of many years of loyalty and tough work by a TDRS team,” pronounced Dave Littmann, a TDRS plan manager during NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “As a result, vicious space communication and tracking services that capacitate NASA tellurian spaceflight and systematic find will continue good into a subsequent decade.”

​TDRS-13 launched on Aug. 18, 2017, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Built by Boeing in El Segundo, California, TDRS-13 and a scarcely matching third-generation sister booster are behaving well. TDRS-K and -L launched in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

TDRS-M, now named TDRS-13, launched on Aug. 18, 2017, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Following a duration of in-orbit testing, a booster has been supposed into NASA’s Space Network.
Credits: NASA Kennedy/Tony Gray and Sandra Joseph

NASA determined a TDRS plan in 1973, and a initial satellite launched 10 years later, providing NASA an exponential boost in information rates and hit time communicating with a space convey and other orbiting spacecraft, such as a Hubble Space Telescope.  Since then, NASA has continued to enhance a TDRS constellation and allege a booster capabilities.

“NASA looks brazen to a future, building even improved ways to accommodate missions’ communications needs,” pronounced Younes. “We will precedence NASA’s success in visual communications and other innovative technologies, as good as significantly boost a partnership with industry, as we prognosticate a change to increasing faith on blurb networks for most, if not all, of a communications needs in a near-Earth environment.”

Goddard is home to a TDRS project, that is obliged for a growth and launch of these communication satellites. Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a private executive for a third-generation TDRS spacecraft. TDRS is a space component of NASA’s Space Network, providing a vicious communication and navigation salvation for NASA missions. NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program, partial of a Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate during a agency’s Headquarters in Washington, is obliged for NASA’s Space Network.

Source: NASA

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