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Innovative Approach Enabled the Retirement of TDRS-1 Compliant with NASA Orbital Debris RequirementsThe first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-1) was deactivated on June 27th 2010 following more than 26 years of operation. The end-of-mission (EOM) operations were developed to address the stringent requirements of NPR 8715.6: NASA Procedural Requirements for Limiting Orbital Debris, which consists of three key items: 1) removal from the geosynchronous arc; 2) depletion of the remaining propellant; and 3) passivation of all sources of energy storage or generation [1]. The EOM approach minimized risks while accomplishing these goals. Raising TDRS-1 over 350 km above geosynchronous was accomplished via proven station change operations. Depleting propellant was the most challenging task, requiring over 20 hours of thruster on-time accumulated within schedule, orbit, and spacecraft subsystem constraints. The attitude configuration and operational procedures, including the unique final passivation method, were thoroughly analyzed and simulated prior to the start of operations. The complete EOM campaign lasted 21 days. The TDRS-1 EOM campaign demonstrated that pre-NPR 8715.6 satellite designs can be made to comply and that lessons learned could be applied to other satellite designs. The significant TDRS-1 effort demonstrates a commitment by NASA to responsible orbital debris management in compliance with international standards.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Zaleski, Ronald
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Mirczak, Walter
(Caelum Research Corp. Mountain View, CA, United States)
Staich, Stephen
(Legacy Engineering Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Caverly, Richard
(Orbital Sciences Corp. Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Smith, Eric
(Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc. Columbia, MD, United States)
Teti, Nicholas
Vaught, W. Lynn
(General Dynamics C4 Systems Scottsdale, AZ, United States)
Olney, Dave
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 5, 2011
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference(Big Sky, MT)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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