TDRS-M launching on an Atlas V rocket Credit: NASA

TDRS-M Lifts Off from Cape Canaveral

August 18, 2017

We have lift-off! NASA’s newest communications satellite, Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M), launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 8:03 a.m. on Aug. 18.

Ground controllers report the satellite – part of a network providing high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, launch vehicles and a host of other spacecraft – is in good health at the start of a three-month checkout by its manufacturer, Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California. NASA will conduct additional tests before putting TDRS-M into service.

“The TDRS fleet is a critical connection delivering science and human spaceflight data to those who can use it here on Earth,” said Dave Littmann, the TDRS project manager at Goddard. “TDRS-M will expand the capabilities and extend the lifespan of the network, allowing us to continue transmitting mission data into the next decade.”

The mission of the TDRS project, established in 1973, is to provide follow-on and replacement spacecraft to support NASA's space communications network, which provides high-data-rate communications. The TDRS-M spacecraft is identical to the TDRS-K and -L spacecraft launched in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

For more information about TDRS, go to: