NASA is ready to launch the second in a series of three
advanced Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, known as TDRS-I.
This latest addition to the fleet of seven on-orbit Tracking
and Data Relay Satellites will provide high data-rate
communication links with the Space Shuttle, International
Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and a host of other
spacecraft, as well as tracking services for expendable
launch vehicles.

TDRS-I is scheduled to launch Friday, March 8, at 5:39 p.m.
EST, the beginning of a 40-minute launch window, which
extends until 6:19 p.m. EST.

“We’re very excited about the new capabilities the advanced
TDRS will provide the international space program,” said
Robert Jenkens Jr., TDRS Project Manager at NASA’s Goddard
Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Together, the new trio of satellites will help replenish and
maintain the specialized space communications capabilities of
the current TDRS constellation, which has served numerous
national and international space missions since 1983.

TDRS-I features the following capabilities:

* S-band Single Access: Two 15-foot diameter steerable
antennas, used at the 2.0 to 2.3 GHz (Giga Hertz) band,
supply robust communications to user satellites with smaller
antennas and receive telemetry from expendable launch
vehicles during launch.

* Ku-band Single Access: The same two antennas, operating
from 13.7 to 15.0 GHz, provide higher bandwidth for user
satellites, provide high-resolution digital television for
Space Shuttle video communications and can quickly transfer
large volumes of data from tape or solid-state data recorders
aboard NASA scientific spacecraft.

TDRS-I also features these new capabilities:

* Ka-band Single Access: This new higher-frequency service,
operating from 22.5 to 27.5 GHz, increases data rate
capabilities to 800 Megabits per second to provide
communications with future missions requiring high
bandwidths, such as multi-spectral instruments for Earth
science applications.

* Multiple Access: Using a phased-array antenna, operating
in the 2.0 to 2.3 GHz range, the system can receive and relay
data simultaneously from five lower data-rate users, while
transmitting commands to a single user.

Transfer orbit operations, which will boost the 7,033-pound
spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the
Earth, are scheduled to occur during the two-week period
following the launch. Upon completion of on-orbit testing and
acceptance, TDRS-I will be renamed TDRS-9. Goddard’s
Operations Services Project will oversee operations of TDRS-
9, using controllers at the White Sands Complex in New

The TDRS replenishment program costs approximately $840
million, which includes the three satellites, launch
vehicles, White Sands Complex modifications and NASA program
costs. Boeing Satellite Systems of El Segundo, Calif.,
designed, built and tested the three satellites under a
fixed-price contract with NASA.

Additional information about TDRS-I, as well as NASA’s
complete Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, is
available on the following Websites: