Boeing to Ship NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite to Florida for March Launch

A Boeing-built Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) will ship today via a C-17 aircraft to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to undergo final preparations for its March launch aboard an Atlas IIA rocket. The Boeing 601 satellite, named TDRS-I, is the second of three satellites built and delivered by Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), a unit of The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA), for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center of Greenbelt, Md.

"The TDRS-I satellite has completed rigorous and extensive factory testing and will now head to Kennedy Space Center for final processing for launch," said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing Satellite Systems, the satellite manufacturing arm of Boeing S&C. "As the second Boeing 601 in the series, the added capabilities provided by these next-generation TDRS satellites will directly benefit NASA and the users of these vital communications services."

TDRS-I will be part of a trio of TDRS satellites that will replenish and augment the current TDRS fleet, which has served the Space Shuttle and other orbiting spacecraft for almost two decades. The TDRS satellites will add Ka-band capability to the TDRS fleet, adding flexibility and allowing for higher data rates at a more favorable and less heavily used frequency band. The first satellite, TDRS-H, was successfully launched in June 2000. The third satellite, TDRS-J, is scheduled for delivery in October 2002.

Boeing Space and Communications, headquartered in Seal Beach, Calif., is the world's largest space and communications company. A unit of The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense, and information and communications. It is NASA's largest contractor; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The global enterprise has customers worldwide and manufacturing operations throughout the United States and Australia.

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George Torres
Anne Eisele