The first in a new series of three Hughes Space and Communications-built Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) is to be launched aboard an International Launch Services Atlas IIA booster from Cape Canaveral on 29 June.


TDRS H follows six first-generation TRW-built TDRS satellites, five of which were deployed from Space Shuttle orbiters, starting in April 1983. One was lost in the 1986 Challenger accident. The new Hughes satellites incorporate two 4.5m (13ft)-diameter flexible antenna reflectors which are folded around the spacecraft bus for launch, but which spring into position after deployment in orbit. TDRS-H will augment the exclusive S-band and Ku-band communications services for other NASA spacecraft.

Source: Flight International