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TECH SPACE
Air Force activates new satellites for tracking space objects
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Sep 15, 2017


The 1st Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, has activated two satellites as part of their Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program.

The program is a network of satellites designed to track objects in orbit ranging from other satellites to space debris for U.S. Strategic Command. It first became operational in 2015.

"GSSAP 3 and 4 will significantly enhance our ability to characterize objects in geosynchronous orbit," Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, said in a news release Wednesday. "This provides the awareness we need to successfully operate in space."

The system has the advantage of not being affected by weather that could limit ground-based monitoring systems. Its orbital vantage point allows it to it detect, track and classify orbital objects with a much higher degree of accuracy.

The program's primary mission is the detecting potential threats to military communications and reconnaissance satellites. An enemy could theoretically detonate a warhead in orbit that would effectively deny access to space with a debris cloud.

Early detection may enable to the Air Force and Navy to intercept the object using ground-based missiles like the SM-3 missile on Aegis destroyers and cruisers.

The U.S. military has demonstrated its anti-satellite capabilities in the past with the shoot-down of a Department of Defense satellite in 2008.

TECH SPACE
Two new satellites now operational to expand US space situational awareness
Peterson AFB CO (SPX) Sep 14, 2017
The 1st Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, accepted two new satellites into operation Sept. 12 to expand their Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program's ability to characterize and track objects in space to support a neighborhood watch out in orbit. GSSAP provides enhanced space-based space situational awareness to improve the ability to rapidly det ... read more

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