EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Delivery of NASA's next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites is on schedule, with the first set for a Florida facility by year's end.
The satellites manufactured by Boeing will enhance signal processing and data transmission between the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station and scientific satellites in low Earth orbit.
"The TDRS satellites provide NASA with crucial crosslink communications between orbiting spacecraft and control and data processing facilities on Earth," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "TDRS K is a major step toward improving how high-resolution images, video, voice and data are transmitted."
The first of the new satellites --TDRS K -- completed environmental, functional and performance tests, including vibration and acoustic tests and final flight functional testing, the company said, and will be prepared for final integration and launch at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Boeing is producing three TDR satellites. The second is scheduled for launch in 2014.
As part of the program, Boeing and General Dynamics have upgraded existing ground terminals for compatibility with the TDRS K series.
Three TDR satellites are in operation.