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1993 s54 TDRS-F.jpg
TDRS-F being deployed from Endeavour
Mission type Communication
Operator NASA
COSPAR ID 1993-003B
Mission duration 10 years (planned)
16+ years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer TRW
Launch mass 3,180 kilograms (7,010 lb)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date 13 January 1993, 13:59:30 (1993-01-13UTC13:59:30Z) UTC
Rocket Space Shuttle Endeavour
STS-54 / IUS
Launch site Kennedy LC-39B
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 46° West (1994-1996)
47° West (1996-2005)
174° West (2005—)
Perigee 35,773 kilometers (22,228 mi)
Apogee 35,787 kilometers (22,237 mi)
Inclination 8.74 degrees

TDRS-6, known before launch as TDRS-F, 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, and is based on a custom satellite bus which was used for all seven first generation TDRS satellites.[2]


The launch of STS-54, carrying TDRS-6

TDRS-F was deployed from Space Shuttle Endeavour during the STS-54 mission in 1993. Endeavour was launched from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, at 13:59:30 GMT on 13 January 1993.[3] TDRS-F was deployed from Endeavour around six hours after launch, and was raised to geosynchronous orbit by means of an Inertial Upper Stage.[3]


The two-stage solid-propellent Inertial Upper Stage made two burns. The first stage burn occurred shortly after deployment from Endeavour, and placed the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. At 02:26 GMT on 14 January it reached apogee, and the second stage fired, placing TDRS-F into geosynchronous orbit.[4] At this point it received its operational designation, TDRS-6.


In 1994, it was placed at a longitude 46 degrees west of the Greenwich Meridian, to serve as an on-orbit spare.[5] In 1996, it was moved to 47° West, where it remained until 2005, when it was repositioned to 174° West,[5] where, as of August 2009, it was used to provide communications with spacecraft in Earth orbit, including Space Shuttles and the International Space Station.[needs update]


  1. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "TDRS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  3. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Index". Geostationary Orbit Catalog. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  5. ^ a b "TDRS 6". TSE. Retrieved 2009-08-09.