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TECH SPACE
Two new satellites now operational to expand US space situational awareness
by Staff Writers
Peterson AFB CO (SPX) Sep 14, 2017


The GSSAP constellation can characterize objects in space to a very refined level. Being able to discriminate and characterize objects assists the U.S. and its allies in achieving responsible and safe use of space. The information obtained by this program provides robust spaceflight safety information and ensures free access to, and use of, space. For a larger version of this image please go here.

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 detect, warn, characterize and attribute disturbances to space systems in the geosynchronous environment. This assists in the protection of the assets in space that affect many facets of daily life such as navigation and communication. GSSAP supports U.S. Strategic Command's ability to collect data on man-made orbiting objects.

GSSAP became operational in September 2015, when the first two GSSAP satellites reached their Initial Operational Capability. The two newest satellites to the program, GSSAP 3 and 4, were launched into orbit Aug. 19, 2016, and have now finished their testing phase.

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

This addition to GSSAP is vital to expand 1 SOPS's space-based space situational awareness mission. It not only provides a significant improvement in space object characterization, but also in detecting threats. Because of its near-geosynchronous orbit, it has a clear and distinct vantage point to avoid the weather interruptions that can limit ground-based space surveillance systems.

The GSSAP constellation can characterize objects in space to a very refined level. Being able to discriminate and characterize objects assists the U.S. and its allies in achieving responsible and safe use of space. The information obtained by this program provides robust spaceflight safety information and ensures free access to, and use of, space.

As space continues to become more congested and contested, GSSAP and other space situational awareness programs are paramount in deterring aggressive action in space. GSSAP continues to enable safe operations and protects U.S. and allied spacecraft by providing timely and accurate situational awareness. Ultimately, GSSAP and 1 SOPS enable a range of decisive responses that will render any counter-space threats ineffective.

TECH SPACE
192 Indian space objects currently in orbit
Chennai, India (IANS) Sep 12, 2017
A total of 192 Indian objects are orbiting in space as of April 1, 2017, catalogued by US Space Surveillance Network, said a retired Indian scientist. He was citing the August 2017 issue of "Orbital Debris", a quarterly published by NASA. "Space objects include functional satellites as well as debris. The term catalogued means the space objects are tracked, updated, and their orbits ... read more

Related Links
Air Force Space Command
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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