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TDRS-E deployment from STS-43.jpg
TDRS-E aboard Atlantis during deployment
Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID1991-054B
SATCAT no.21639Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration7 years (planned)
18+ years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass2,268 kilograms (5,000 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date2 August 1991, 15:02:00 (1991-08-02UTC15:02Z) UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Atlantis
STS-43 / IUS
Launch siteKennedy LC-39A
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude174° West[1]

TDRS-5, known before launch as TDRS-E, is an American communications satellite which is operated by NASA as part of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. It was constructed by TRW is based on a custom satellite bus which was used for all seven first generation TDRS satellites.[2]


The launch of STS-43, carrying TDRS-5

It was launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis during the STS-43 mission in August 1991. Atlantis launched from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 15:02:00 GMT (11:02 local time), on 2 August.[3] TDRS-E was deployed from Atlantis around six hours after launch, and was raised to geostationary orbit by means of an Inertial Upper Stage. It was the only TDRS satellite to be deployed from Atlantis.[3]


The twin-stage solid-propellent Inertial Upper Stage made two burns. The first stage burn occurred shortly after deployment, from Atlantis, and placed the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Around six hours later, it reached apogee, and the second stage fired, placing TDRS-E into geosynchronous orbit. At this point it received its operational designation, TDRS-5. It was placed at a position over the equator, 174° West of the Greenwich Meridian,[1] from where it provides communications services to spacecraft in Earth orbit, including the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. Some of its transponders are operated by the Columbia Communications Corporation.[4]


  1. ^ a b "The TDRS-J satellite". Spaceflight Now. 2002-12-01. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "TDRS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  3. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  4. ^ "TDRS 5". TSE. Retrieved 2009-08-02.