Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2024 Andreas Parsch

Northrop Grumman GSSAP

The GSSAP (Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program) satellites have been developed by the USAF and Orbital Sciences (now Northrop Grumman) to provide a space-based space surveillance platform, to detect and track potential adversaries' space assets. The satellites operate near the GEO belt, and are capable of performing so-called Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO), i.e., they can maneuver towards other objects in GEO to inspect them at close range.

Image: USSF

As of early 2024, six GSSAP satellites have been put into orbit, two each on three launches. Of these, five are still active. At least one more launch with satellites GSSAP-7 and -8 is planned.

Name Intl. Designation Launch Notes
GSSAP-12014-043A28-Jul-2014Also known as USA-253
GSSAP-22014-043B28-Jul-2014Also known as USA-254; deactivated in July 2023
GSSAP-32016-052A19-Aug-2016Also known as USA-270
GSSAP-42016-052B19-Aug-2016Also known as USA-271
GSSAP-52022-006A21-Jan-2022Also known as USA-324
GSSAP-62022-006B21-Jan-2022Also known as USA-325

Launch dates of the GSSAP series

Main Sources

[1] Wikipedia: Space Based Space Surveillance
[2] Gunter Krebs: GSSAP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
[3] USSF: Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program

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Last Updated: 1 February 2024