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The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-H) sits on a workstand in KSC’s Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility (SAEF-2) in order to undergo electrical testing. The TDRS is scheduled to be launched from CCAFS June 29 aboard an Atlas IIA/Centaur rocket. One of three satellites (labeled H, I and J) being built in the Hughes Space and Communications Company Integrated Satellite Factory in El Segundo, Calif., the latest TDRS uses an innovative springback antenna design. A pair of 15-foot-diameter, flexible mesh antenna reflectors fold up for launch, then spring back into their original cupped circular shape on orbit. The new satellites will augment the TDRS system’s existing Sand Ku-band frequencies by adding Ka-band capability. TDRS will serve as the sole means of continuous, high-data-rate communication with the space shuttle, with the International Space Station upon its completion, and with dozens of unmanned scientific satellites in low earth orbit

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-H) sits on a workstand in KSC’s Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility (SAEF-2) in order to undergo electrical testing. The TDRS is scheduled to be launched from CCAFS June 29 aboard an Atlas IIA/Centaur rocket. One of three satellites (labeled H, I and J) being built in the Hughes Space and Communications Company Integrated Satellite Factory in El Segundo, Calif., the latest TDRS uses an innovative springback antenna design. A pair of 15-foot-diameter, flexible mesh antenna reflectors fold up for launch, then spring back into their original cupped circular shape on orbit. The new satellites will augment the TDRS system’s existing Sand Ku-band frequencies by adding Ka-band capability. TDRS will serve as the sole means of continuous, high-data-rate communication with the space shuttle, with the International Space Station upon its completion, and with dozens of unmanned scientific satellites in low earth orbit

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