Press Release

TRW/Aerojet-Built Defense Support Program Satellite Slated for Launch on May 8 from a Titan IVB

By SpaceRef Editor
May 4, 2000
Filed under

The 20th
Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite built by the TRW/Aerojet team
is slated for launch on May 8 from a Titan IVB at Cape Canaveral Air
Force Station, Launch Complex 40. The four-hour launch window opens at
9:33 a.m. EDT.

DSP 20 will be launched by a Titan IVB/IUS booster (powered by
Aerojet engines) into a geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the
Earth. The spacecraft will join the existing DSP constellation and
provide early warning of strategic and tactical ballistic missile
launches to the North American Defense Command and U.S. Space Command
centers within Cheyenne Mountain.

Background information, photographs and videotape are available.

TRW and Aerojet have worked together for more than 30 years on
DSP. TRW has built 23 DSP spacecraft and integrated 23
missile-detecting infrared sensors built by Aerojet. The DSP system
has evolved to meet new mission requirements for the Air Force,
continually demonstrating its flexibility and utility, and the
satellites have exceeded their specified design lives by 125% through
five upgrade programs.

TRW provides end-to-end system support for the DSP program. In
addition to building and integrating the spacecraft, TRW provides
day-to-day technical assistance at Schriever and Buckley Air Force
Bases; performs satellite performance analysis, anomaly resolution and
early on-orbit testing at its TRW Orbital Test Station; and has built
software systems that help to process, display and distribute DSP data
to national command authorities.

Aerojet, besides designing and building the 1,200-pound DSP
infrared sensors, provides software systems for ground processing of
DSP infrared data. The company developed the Joint Tactical Ground
Station, which reports DSP data to theater commanders, and the Attack
and Launch Early Reporting to Theater system to analyze DSP data and
improve the identification and tracking of ballistic missiles. Aerojet
also builds the first- and second-stage engines for the Titan IVB
launch vehicle.

TRW and Aerojet are also working on the Space-Based Infrared
System Low (SBIRS Low) program, the low-Earth orbiting component of
the nation’s next-generation missile warning system. TRW is heading
the effort to define program requirements, reduce risk and complete
conceptual designs under a contract awarded in 1999. Aerojet’s primary
responsibility is providing engineering support for the ground
processing segment.
Aerojet, a GenCorp company, is a world-recognized aerospace and
defense leader principally serving the space electronics, missile and
space propulsion, and smart munitions and armaments markets. Aerojet’s
Web site is at

TRW Space & Electronics Group builds communications, scientific
and defense spacecraft for military, civil and commercial customers;
produces, integrates and tests payloads; develops advanced space
instruments; and integrates experiments into spacecraft. It is an
operating unit of TRW Inc., which provides advanced technology
products and services for the global automotive, aerospace and
information systems markets. TRW’s Web site is at

SpaceRef staff editor.