January 29, 2013
TDRS: Continuing The Fleet
NASA is preparing to launch the first in a series of three third generation advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, known as TDRS-K. This latest addition to the fleet of seven will augment a space communications network that provides the critical path for high data-rate communication to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, past shuttle missions and a host of other spacecraft.
It has been 10 years since NASA last launched a TDRS. This launch is the beginning of a welcome replenishment to the space network, which has served numerous national and international space missions since 1983.