Model, Communications Satellite, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)

During the first decades of the Space Age, NASA required a worldwide network of ground stations to communicate with satellites and human-operated spacecraft. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system, a constellation of three spacecraft placed into geosynchronous orbit beginning in 1983, was designed to replace this expensive, far-flung system. Positioned equidistant in orbit, they provide nearly continuous contact with spacecraft in low Earth orbit-an especially crucial capability for ensuring the safety of Space Shuttle crews. A TDRS transmits both voice and data communications. Under optimum conditions, it can transfer in a second the equivalent of a 20-volume encyclopedia.

This artifact is a high-fidelity model built by Design Models, Inc., under the direction of TRW, which manufactured the first several TDRS spacecraft. TRW donated the model in 1986.

Gift of TRW, Inc.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
TRW Design Models Inc.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts

Materials
Wood, glass, capton, plastic
Dimensions
Overall (antennas and solar arrays deployed): 14 ft. tall x 43 ft. wide x 57 ft. deep, 1800 lb. (426.7 x 1310.6 x 1737.4cm, 816.5kg)

During the first decades of the Space Age, NASA required a worldwide network of ground stations to communicate with satellites and human-operated spacecraft. The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system, a constellation of three spacecraft placed into geosynchronous orbit beginning in 1983, was designed to replace this expensive, far-flung system. Positioned equidistant in orbit, they provide nearly continuous contact with spacecraft in low Earth orbit-an especially crucial capability for ensuring the safety of Space Shuttle crews. A TDRS transmits both voice and data communications. Under optimum conditions, it can transfer in a second the equivalent of a 20-volume encyclopedia.

This artifact is a high-fidelity model built by Design Models, Inc., under the direction of TRW, which manufactured the first several TDRS spacecraft. TRW donated the model in 1986.

Gift of TRW, Inc.

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
TRW Design Models Inc.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts

Materials
Wood, glass, capton, plastic
Dimensions
Overall (antennas and solar arrays deployed): 14 ft. tall x 43 ft. wide x 57 ft. deep, 1800 lb. (426.7 x 1310.6 x 1737.4cm, 816.5kg)

ID: A19860098000