WASHINGTON, 7 Dec. 2011. NASA officials are exercising the first of two available contract options for procurement of an additional Tracking Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) from Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. of El Segundo, Calif. The contract option is estimated at $289 million and extends the period of performance through April 2024, enabling Boeing Satellite Systems to retain at least 300 American jobs.
The TDRS-K Program contract calls for Boeing Satellite Systems engineers to design, develop, fabricate, integrate, test, ship, provide launch support, conduct in-orbit checkout operations, and provide sustaining engineering support for two TDRS spacecraft: TDRS-K and TDRS-L. The original contract included options for two additional spacecraft, TDRS-M and TDRS-N; NASA is exercising the option for TDRS-M.
"With the first-generation TDRS spacecraft retiring by 2015, NASA must continue to replenish the fleet," says Pete Vrotsos, network services director for Space Communications and Navigation at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "TDRS-M is the agency's first step in assuring the space network will meet NASA's and the U.S. government's relay satellite requirements by 2017."
The TDRS Project is a national asset that provides critical support to NASA science and human exploration missions and support to other government agencies, says a representative. The TDRS System Project is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.