Applications Satellites

November 1, 2004 – Permanent
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This Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) is a high-fidelity model built by Design Models, Inc., under the direction of TRW, which manufactured the first several TDRS spacecraft. TRW donated the model in 1986.

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA

James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

See on Map Floor Plan

From the beginning of the Space Age, people recognized that Earth-orbiting satellites—able to see and communicate across vast distances—promised unique benefits. In the tense years of the Cold War, such spacecraft (known as applications satellites) evolved down two separate paths: one devoted to national security needs, the other to civilian interests. See examples of the hundreds of civilian and military applications satellites ringing the Earth that provide communications, photography, remote sensing, weather analysis, and navigation services to a variety of users.

Highlights include:

  • Corona Film Return Capsule
  • Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)
  • Relay 1 Communications Satellite
  • Agena-B Upper Stage