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GSSAP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Hornet 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)


GSSAP (Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program) or Hornet 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.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Space surveillance
Operator: US Air Force (USAF) → US Space Force (USSF)
Contractors: Orbital Sciences Corp. (OSC)
Configuration: GeoStar-1
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)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
GSSAP 1 (Hornet 1, USA 253, AFSPC 4) 2014-043A 28.07.2014 CC SLC-37B Delta-4M+(4,2) with GSSAP 2, ANGELS
GSSAP 2 (Hornet 2, USA 254, AFSPC 4) 2014-043B 28.07.2014 CC SLC-37B Delta-4M+(4,2) with GSSAP 1, ANGELS
GSSAP 3 (Hornet 3, USA 270, AFSPC 6) 2016-052A 19.08.2016 CC SLC-37B Delta-4M+(4,2) (upg.) with GSSAP 4
GSSAP 4 (Hornet 4, USA 271, AFSPC 6) 2016-052B 19.08.2016 CC SLC-37B Delta-4M+(4,2) (upg.) with GSSAP 3
GSSAP 5 (Hornet 5, USSF 8, AFSPC 8) - 2021 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(511) with GSSAP 6
GSSAP 6 (Hornet 6, USSF 8, AFSPC 8) - 2021 CC SLC-41 Atlas-5(511) with GSSAP 5