GSSAP (Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program) is a series of space surveillance satellites developed covertly by the Air Force and Orbital Sciences to provide a space-based capability operating in the near-geosynchronous orbit regime supporting U.S. Strategic Command space surveillance operations as a dedicated Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensor.
Accourding to USAF officials, the GSSAP satellites will drift above and below the GEO belt, using electro-optical sensors to collect information on satellites and other objects in that region. The satellites are maneuverable, allowing them to collect intelligence on specific target satellites. GSSAP provides “accurate tracking and characterization” of satellites.
The first pair of GSSAP spacecraft was launched in 2014 from Cape Canaveral on board of a Delta-4M+(4,2) rocket with another pair to follow in 2016. A third pair will be launched in 2020.
|Type / Application:||Space surveillance|
|Operator:||US Air Force|
|Contractors:||Orbital Sciences Corp. (OSC)|
|Power:||Deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Orbit:||35800 km × 35900 km, 0.50° (#1, 2); 35752 km × 35819 km, 0.00° (#3); 35791 km × 35874 km, 0.02° (#4)|
|GSSAP 1 (USA 253, AFSPC 4)||2014-043A||28.07.2014||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M+(4,2)||with GSSAP 2, ANGELS|
|GSSAP 2 (USA 254, AFSPC 4)||2014-043B||28.07.2014||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M+(4,2)||with GSSAP 1, ANGELS|
|GSSAP 3 (USA 270, AFSPC 6)||2016-052A||19.08.2016||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M+(4,2) (upg.)||with GSSAP 4|
|GSSAP 4 (USA 271, AFSPC 6)||2016-052B||19.08.2016||CC SLC-37B||Delta-4M+(4,2) (upg.)||with GSSAP 3|
|GSSAP 5 (AFSPC 8)||-||2020||CC||Atlas-5(401) or Falcon-9 v1.2||with GSSAP 6|
|GSSAP 6 (AFSPC 8)||-||2020||CC||Atlas-5(401) or Falcon-9 v1.2||with GSSAP 5|