NASA is refusing to take delivery from Boeing of the in-orbit Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-H) because of a shortfall in the performance of the multiple access phased array antenna, discovered shortly after the launch of the spacecraft aboard an Atlas IIA booster from Cape Canaveral in June last year.

"There is a performance shortfall on one antenna and Boeing and NASA are in discussions about it. Until those discussions are complete, there's nothing more to say," says Boeing.

The company says the launches of TDRS-I and-J are set for 2002, admitting that these craft "are being modified and tested to confirm that they will not suffer similar performance shortfall".

Boeing says that "while the TDRS-H antenna is not meeting specification, overall performance of affected services have been consistent".

Source: Flight International