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TDRS-F being deployed from Endeavour
Mission typeCommunication
COSPAR ID1993-003B Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.22314
Mission durationPlanned: 10 years
Elapsed: 30 years, 10 months, 23 days
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass2,108 kg (4,647 lb)[1]
Dimensions17.3 × 14.2 m (57 × 47 ft)
Power1700 watts
Start of mission
Launch date13 January 1993, 13:59:30 (1993-01-13UTC13:59:30) UTC
RocketSpace Shuttle Endeavour
STS-54 / IUS
Launch siteKennedy Space Center LC-39B
ContractorRockwell International
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
Longitude46.0° West (1994–1996)
47.0° West (1996–2005)
174.0° West (2005–)
Epoch14 January 1993 [2]

TDRS-6, known before launch as TDRS-F, is an American communications satellite, of first generation, 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.[3]


The launch of STS-54, carrying TDRS-F

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 UTC on 13 January 1993.[4] TDRS-F was deployed from Endeavour around six hours after launch, and was raised to geosynchronous orbit by means of an Inertial Upper Stage.[4]


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 (GTO). At 02:26 UTC on 14 January 1993, it reached apogee, and the second stage fired, placing TDRS-F into geosynchronous orbit.[5] At this point, it received its operational designation, TDRS-6.


In 1994, it was placed at a longitude 46.0° West of the Greenwich Meridian, to serve as an on-orbit spare.[6] In 1996, it was moved to 47.0° West, where it remained until 2005, when it was repositioned to 174.0° West,[6] where, as of August 2009, it was used to provide communications with spacecraft in Earth orbit, such as the International Space Station (ISS) and spacecraft bringing astronauts to the ISS.

Location of TDRS as of 26 May 2020
Location of TDRS as of 18 March 2019

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "UCS Satellite Database". Union of Concerned Scientists. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  2. ^ "NASA - NSSDCA - Spacecraft - Trajectory Details". Retrieved 2 May 2018. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "TDRS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Index". Geostationary Orbit Catalog. Jonathan's Space Page. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
  6. ^ a b "TDRS 6". TSE. Retrieved 9 August 2009.