Press Release

NASA Goddard Captures Prestigious Nelson P. Jackson Aerospace Award

By SpaceRef Editor
March 22, 2004
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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Space
Technology sector have been awarded the National Space Club’s 2004 Nelson
P. Jackson Aerospace Award, named in honor of the Club’s founder and past
president. The annual award is presented to recognize exceptional teamwork
between government and industry in the missile, aircraft and space fields.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Phil Liebrecht,
Associate Director and Program Manger for Mission Services at NASA Goddard
Space Flight Center. “NASA and the space community have long recognized
the revolutionary and science enabling capabilities of this one-of-a-kind
space communications system, which continues to evolve to meet mission
critical needs.”

The Mission Services Program Office at Goddard is responsible for planning,
developing and implementing NASA’s worldwide near-Earth space
communications networks, which include operations and development of the
TDRSS and Space Network. Northrop Grumman was responsible for the design,
fabrication, and testing of the original series TDRS 1-7.

When NASA launched TDRS-1 in 1983, it was the largest and most
sophisticated communications satellite ever built. Five additional
Northrop Grumman (then TRW) built satellites were subsequently placed into
orbit through 1995 (TDRS 2 was lost aboard the Shuttle Challenger). All of
the original series spacecraft are still on-orbit and functioning, serving
human Earth-orbiting and robotic science missions, as well as other
national missions and commercial users.

NASA launched three replenishment spacecraft in June 2000, March 2002 and
December 2002, built by Boeing Satellite Systems. The entire TDRS fleet and
their associated ground control facilities comprise the Tracking Data and
Relay Satellite System, a sophisticated communication signal relay system
that transmits voice and television, as well as digital and analog data
between user satellites and Earth-based control centers. The system greatly
enhances the productivity of space assets by transmitting and receiving
data from customer satellites over their entire orbit, compared to just 15
percent previously provided by ground stations.

For more information about NASA’s Space Network and Tracking and Data Relay
Satellite System, go to:

SpaceRef staff editor.