TDRS: The Network That Enables Exploration

  • Released Tuesday, January 21, 2014
  • Updated Friday, November 25, 2016 at 5:59AM
  • ID: 11214

NASA is preparing to launch the second, in a series of three, third generation advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, known as TDRS. This latest addition to the fleet of eight, TDRS-L, will augment a space communications network that provides the critical path for high data-rate communication to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, human occupied spacecraft and a host of other spacecraft.

The Hubble Space Telescope also utilizes the full capabilities of TDRS. TDRS supports the Hubble’s real-time interactions with the ground systems allowing observers to make small adjustments to its observatory system.

The TDRS network sends all of these data streams and voice communications to either the White Sands Complex in New Mexico or the Guam Remote Ground Terminal. Guam then transmits the data it receives to White Sands.

As long as there’s space exploration, TDRS will be working side by side with spacecraft and end-user, providing continuous connectivity for navigation, data and voice communications.

TDRS arrives at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and is placed in a cleanroom before it is loaded on to its rocket.


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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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