A satellite that has orbited Earth for 20 years, passing over Redlands and Loma Linda on occasion, has exceeded its design life by a decade, the builder Northrup Grumman announced Thursday.
The sixth Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, built for NASA by Northrop Grumman Corporation in Redondo Beach, marked 20 years of successful on-orbit performance on Jan. 13, according to a news release.
Also known as TDRS Flight 6, the satellite was placed into orbit by the space shuttle Endeavour in 1993, Northrup Grumman representatives said.
The satellite has provided communications services for a variety of missions, including transmission of images from the Hubble Space Telescope to Earth, and delivery of pictures, television, voice and data from the International Space Station, according to the release.
"Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector built the first generation of seven TDRS spacecraft at its Space Park facilities in Redondo Beach," the release stated.
The TDRS-6 satellite is currently in a geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean and above Brazil, according to NASA.