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DSP 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 (Phase 3)


The DSP (Defense Support Program) Block-3 (a.k.a DSP-I) satellites are the third generation of DSP early warning satellites, which cost about $ 180M per spacecraft.

The Spacecraft spins slowly (6 rpm) about the nadir axis to permit scanning of the Earth by the detector system. Zero momentum (three axis) stabilized using a reaction wheel to counter the spacecraft spin. Four solar panels deploy to generate roughly 1300 W. The DSP are radiation hardened. The payload is classified, but is probably a telescope with 6000 element IR array, nuclear explosion detectors, particle detection monitors.

DSP 23 failed less then a year after launch and was inspected by the MITEx A and MITEx B satellites in orbit.

DSP 16 was retired in 2016 and was moved into a graveyard orbit above the geostationary belt.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Early Warning
Operator: USAF
Contractors: TRW → Northrop Grumman
Equipment: ?
Propulsion: ?
Power: 4 deployable fixed solar arrays, solar cells, batteries
Mass: 2386 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
DSP 14 (DSP SVN-14, USA 39) 1989-046A 14.06.1989 CC LC-41 Titan-4(02)A IUS
DSP 15 (DSP SVN-15, USA 65) 1990-095A 13.11.1990 CC LC-41 Titan-4(02)A IUS
DSP 16 (DSP SVN-16, USA 75) 1991-080B 24.11.1991 CCK LC-39A Shuttle [IUS] with Atlantis-F10 (STS 44)
DSP 17 (DSP SVN-17, USA 107) 1994-084A 22.12.1994 CC LC-40 Titan-4(02)A IUS
DSP 18 (DSP SVN-20, USA 130) 1997-008A 23.02.1997 CC LC-40 Titan-4(02)B IUS
DSP 19 (DSP SVN-19, USA 142) 1999-017A 09.04.1999 CC LC-41 f Titan-4(02)B IUS
DSP 20 (DSP SVN-18, USA 149) 2000-024A 08.05.2000 CC LC-40 Titan-4(02)B IUS
DSP 21 (USA 159) 2001-033A 06.08.2001 CC SLC-40 Titan-4(02)B IUS
DSP 22 (DSP SVN-22, USA 176) 2004-004A 14.02.2004 CC SLC-40 Titan-4(02)B IUS
DSP 23 (USA 197) 2007-054A 11.11.2007 CC SLC-37B Delta-4H
DSP 24 - cancelled