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Air Force declassifies satellite program

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posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 11:23 AM
The Air Force Space Command, at the Air Warfare Symposium in Florida, announced a previously classified satellite program. The Geosynchronus Space Situational Awareness Program (GSAP) involves putting small, maneuverable satellites equipped with electro-optical sensors to monitor other satellites in that orbital region.

The satellites will "drift" above and below Geosynchronus "belt" so they can watch other satellites. They can be tasked to go to certain areas or watch specific satellites. They're small enough that the next mission will launch two of them, although the Air Force won't say how big they are, or how much they cost. The satellites are also capable of carrying payloads such as jammers, or radio-frequency sensors.

They are also expected to announce a new Space Fence radar system contractor soon.

The U.S. Air Force is planning to launch two new and previously classified space situational awareness satellites into geosynchronous orbit this year, according to Gen. William Shelton, who leads Air Force Space Command.

The spacecraft were developed covertly by the Air Force and Orbital Sciences under the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSAP), according to service officials.

The first two spacecraft will be boosted this year with two more to follow in 2016 to prevent a gap in surveillance on activities in the geosynchronous belt, Shelton said at the annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. This is where commercial satellite communications are based, as well as critical national security assets such as the Space-Based Infrared System (Sbirs) early missile warning system and Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) constellation designed to provide jam-proof communications for the president even during a nuclear event.

“One cheap shot” against Sbirs or AEHF would be “devastating” to the Pentagon’s capabilities, Shelton said of a potential anti-satellite attack.


posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 01:28 PM

Thus, releasing at least minimal information is a nod toward transparency and, potentially, aimed at quelling concerns that the capability will be viewed as offensive, the defense official said.

Ah, government transparency - can we begin to call it translucence? I think that it is a bit more fitting.

Beings that they have to launch these from Cape Canaveral, people will need to be told something. Of course, not how much we are paying for them...

Where is that X-37B anyway? Is that still roaming around up there? Any word on what it's mission was/is?

posted on Feb, 21 2014 @ 01:34 PM
reply to post by kalunom

They would just have named it a "Classified Satellite Launch" if they hadn't declassified it.

It's still wandering around up there, setting new records with every flight. It passed 400 days in orbit in January, and there hasn't been word of when it would return that I've seen. The record is 469 days.

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