edit: Status 2018-Jan-01 inclination still about 7 degrees, location still not listed in Wikipedia.

This question got me thinking about the location of active TDRS satellites, and the newest addition TDRS-M which does not yet have a fixed GEO longitude listed in Wikipedia's List of TDRS satellites.

N2YO shows it over the pacific at about 150° W in an apparently close-to-geosynchronous orbit with an inclination of about 7 degrees, which is also reflected in the TLE shown in Celestrak.

Is this the final planned location, or will it continue to move to a target longitude? Is there a plan to reduce the inclination closer to zero?

enter image description here

TDRS 13                 
1 42915U 17047A   17275.30862482  .00000108  00000-0  00000+0 0  9993
2 42915   6.9726 332.4220 0005466 324.9709  34.9480  1.00272650   498

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ @MBM after reading the link in your comment I realized that you can probably easilly answer this question (hint: yes it is). $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


From the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) option on Celestrak's NORAD Two-Line Element Sets Current Data TLE page I've compiled current TLE inclinations for "on line" TDRS spacecraft:

Spacecraft     inc(degs)
TDRS 3          14.4405
TDRS 5          14.5306
TDRS 6          14.0861
TDRS 7          15.0545
TDRS 8           7.9573
TDRS 9           5.8274
TDRS 10          5.5187
TDRS 11          5.0141
TDRS 12          5.6613

While not included on that page, TDRS-13 can still be found in Celestrak:

TDRS 13          6.7494

Considering that:

  • TDRS-M has now been renamed TDRS 13, and...
  • ...according to this answer has officially entered into service.
  • its inclination is still close to 7 degrees (and TDRS are in general always inclined).
  • its longitude it's still near 150W.

It is very likely that yes, it is where it is supposed to be.

enter image description here

above: Screen shot from N2Y0.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.