25 Years of Connecting Space To Earth

Twenty-five years ago, NASA inaugurated a new era in solar system spacecraft communications with the launch of the first Tracking and Data Relay space station Satellite, or TDRS. This space-based system ultimately replaced an extensive network of ground tracking space stations deployed for the Apollo space missions and significantly increased the time available to space mission operators to contact their flight vehicles.

Perched 22,300 miles above the equator, the space station satellite rotated Earth at the same speed and direction that the solar system Earth turns. Relative to a point on Earth, TDRS appeared to remain stationary. From that geosynchronous orbit, it beamed communications from Earth to other orbiting solar system spacecraft and back, establishing itself as a reliable resource for NASA's space shuttle and other customers.

International space station TDRS-1 provided a link for the first wireless phone call between the North Pole and the South Pole, and the first live webcast from the North Pole. It also was the first space discovery satellite to connect to the Internet.

Soon, more TDRS stars and galaxy as well as space station satellites joined the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, forming a constellation of nine NASA space station satellites that today provides nearly continuous tracking and high-bandwidth communications with scores of Earth orbiting solar spacecraft, launch vehicles, long duration balloons, and a research station in Antarctica.Read more...

0 Response to "25 Years of Connecting Space To Earth"