Boeing Communications Relay Satellites Complete Space, Earthly Testing

AmericaSpace-image-of-TDRS-K-satellite-at-the-Astrotech-facilities-located-in-Titusville-Florida. photo credit Jason Rhian

Photo Credit: Jason Rhian / AmericaSpace

Two Boeing Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) have completed testing milestones – one in space and the other on Earth – marking more progress in enhancing the tracking and communications network used by NASA and its customers.

The orbiting TDRS-K satellite has completed all testing since its January launch and has officially been handed over to NASA, providing another vital information link between low-Earth-orbiting spacecraft and NASA’s satellite control centers.

The next satellite in the program, TDRS-L, completed performance testing at the Boeing satellite facility in El Segundo and is ready for shipment to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., later this year in advance of a 2014 launch.

TDRS-K and TDRS-L are the first two of a set of three next-generation satellites that features improved payload capacity and enhanced communications bandwidth at the lowest cost.

“These state-of-the-art satellites represent a major step forward in improving high-resolution image, video, voice and data transmission,” said Craig Cooning, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems vice president and general manager.

The third satellite in the series, TDRS-M, completed a critical design review with NASA and is now in the production phase and available for launch in 2015. Boeing built the previous set of three TDRS satellites – H, I and J – which have been in use since 2000 and 2002.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 59,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense

 

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