a Since earliest recorded history, humans have dreamed of traveling into space. It was not until the
second half of the twentieth century that this dream was finally achieved. The ability to access space
today is the result of efforts by a series of enlightened thinkers, leaders and motivators. Their
achievements in expanding knowledge of the laws of motion, gravity, orbital mechanics, physics and
chemistry, followed by expanded capabilities in metallurgy, electronics and many other fields, has
brought us to where we are today. History continues to be made as we expand our knowledge and
capabilities to use space systems to our advantage.
b. The work of the early theorists is important because they developed theories which were essential
to understanding how objects travel when in orbit. Correct theories lead to improved capabilities
because efforts can be fruitful. Incorrect theories can result in unproductive efforts. The following
early theorists were the most influential .
c. (Born: 384 BC, Died: 322 BC) Aristotle was a Greek philosopher. He thought that the Earth was
at the center of the universe and the Sun, other planets and stars rotated around the Earth. He also
believed that the basic components of the universe were earth, fire, air and water. Each of these had
a different home place. The home place for fire was the Sun. The home place for air was above the
clouds. Water's home place was the ocean and earth's home place was at the center of the Earth.
Unless forced to do otherwise, each component would always seek to return to their respective home
place. As each basic component got closer to its home place it traveled faster. Aristotle believed
that this explained why flames and heat rose up, water flowed downhill to the ocean and solid objects
fell to the ground. Heavier objects would fall faster than lighter objects. His theories were expanded
upon by others but were generally accepted as true for more than 1,800 years.
d. (Born: 1473, Died: 1543) Copernicus was a well educated man who became a canon at the
Catholic cathedral in Frauenberg, Poland. In 1514, he developed a theory that the Sun was
stationary and that all the planets revolved around it. About 30 years later he expanded on this
theory in his treatise, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelstium, (Latin for On the Revolution of
Heavenly Bodies) which was published and distributed throughout Europe. Copernicus knew from
observations of the planets as they moved across the sky that they did not have circular orbits around
the Sun. He stated that each planet was in a circular orbit about a point in space that rotated around
the Sun on a circular path.
Today we know that Copernicus' description of the orbits of the planets was not correct. His theory
was, however, important because it showed that Aristotle's theory was not correct. This generated
considerable controversy and motivated others to study the motion of the Earth and the other planets
as they traveled through space.
e. (Born: 1571, Died: 1630) Kepler was a German astronomer who lived in Germany, Prague, and
Denmark. In 1609, he published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion. In 1619, after
analyzing data on the motion of the planets gathered by the Danish astronomer Brache, Kepler
published his third law of planetary motion.
Kepler was the first to accurately describe how the planets orbited around the Sun and established a
mathematical equation which could predict where a planet was in its orbit. His laws of planetary
motion are the basis of orbital mechanics today. They are discussed in detail in Chapter 4, Orbital
Mechanics and the Space Environment.
Sir Isaac Newton
f. (Born: 1643, Died: 1727) Newton was an English scientist. He made many significant
contributions in mathematics, optics, physics, astronomy and other areas.
In 1687, Newton published his Philospiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, more commonly called
the Principia. In this book, he presented his theories of universal gravitation and the motion of
objects, along with the mathematics to support them. Newton's work was an important step in the
advancement of science because it not only united the theories of Copernicus, Kepler and others, but
also gave the mathematical equations to describe the effect of gravity and motion on objects.
Newton's theories are discussed in Chapter 5, The Space Environment and Satellite Orbits.
a. Rockets were invented by the Chinese around 1200 AD. These first rockets used black powder, or
something similar to it, as the propellant. These rockets did not travel far and were not accurate but
were effective as weapons because they had a range that was greater than arrows and spears. In
1232, the Chinese used what were called "flaming arrow sticks" to repel an attack on one of their
cities by a Mongol horde.
Rockets made their way from China to India and then on to the Middle East. From there they were
introduced into Europe. Rockets are mentioned being used to support attacks of fortified cities in
Europe in the late 1200's.
b. In about 1500 AD, a Chinese government bureaucrat named Wu Han conducted the first recorded
experiment in manned powered flight. He lashed two large kites (also developed by the Chinese)
together on a bamboo frame with a bench for him to sit on. More than 20 rockets were mounted on
the back to propel the craft into the air. After the rockets burned out, Wu Han would glide back to
the Earth under the kites. Wu Han took a seat on the bench and directed that the rockets be lit. Wu
Han and the rocket kite disappeared in a cloud of smoke and flame. The experiment was a
spectacular failure. Wu Han was not heard of again.
c. Although the scientific principles of rockets were not well understood, they continued to be
improved, especially after the invention of gunpowder. Gunpowder made a much better propellant
than black powder.
Rockets continued to be used in warfare to start fires, terrorize troops and inflict casualties. A verse
in the United States' National Anthem, " ... the rocket's red glare ..." refers to the British use of
rockets during the shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812.
d. In general, rockets had a relatively short range, could not carry a heavy payload and were
unguided after launch. They did not have the power to lift anything to a high altitude and certainly
not into orbit. Major advances in rocket technology did not begin until the early 1900's. It was only
in this century that technology was developed to actually launch people and things into space.
a. Three men have been identified as the key leaders and motivators in the efforts to go into space.
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a Russian school teacher, Robert H. Goddard, an American scientist, and
Hermann Oberth, a German scientist.
b. If it could be said that the space age was born in one place, most historians agree it would have
been in the home of a Russian schoolmaster, Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky. In 1883, he
explained how it would be possible for a rocket to fly in the vacuum of space. This was at a time
when most people believed it was not even possible for man to fly in the air, thus, Tsiolkovsky was
thought to be eccentric by his fellow Russians. In 1895, he published Dream of the Earth and Sky in
which he wrote that an artificial earth satellite might be possible. In 1903, he began publishing parts
of his book, Research Into Interplanetary Space by Means of Rocket Power in which he set out the
concepts of rocket flight in a vacuum and the prospects of space travel.
Tsiolkovsky had a unique depth of understanding. He was the first to recommend the use of liquid
propellants because they would perform better and would be easier to control than solid propellants.
His notebooks contain many ideas that are used today by rocket engineers. His first sketch of a
spaceship showed fuel tanks containing liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the same fuel used in the
Saturn V moon rocket and in the U.S. Space Shuttle. He suggested controlling a rocket's flight by
inserting rudders in the exhaust or by tilting the exhaust nozzle, just as Dr. Robert Goddard would
do in the Unites States some 30 years later. He determined a way of controlling the flow of liquid
propellants with mixing valves, and advocated cooling the combustion chamber by flowing one of
the liquids around it in a doublewalled jacket as the space shuttle engines do. In his spaceship cabin
designs, he included lifesupport systems for the absorption of carbon dioxide and proposed reclining
the crew with their backs to the engines during acceleration. He also recommended building the
outer wall of spaceships with a double layer for protection against temperature extremes and
meteoroids. He foresaw the use of an airlock for spacesuited men to leave their ship and even
suggested gyrostabilization and multiplestage boosters as the only way to attain the velocities
required for space flight. Tsiolkovsky even anticipated the assembly of space stations in orbit with
food and oxygen supplied by vegetation growing within it.
In 1926, Tsiolkovsky finalized his basic theories of rocket propulsion and control of satellites in
space. Tsiolkovsky made extensive calculations to ensure all his proposals were possible, but
without funding he was unable to perform any meaningful experimentation. Because of his
considerable technical foresight and realistic approach to space problems, he has become known as
the "Father of Space Travel." Although he never conducted any experiments, his writings provided
many ideas and motivated others.
c. In 1909, Robert H. Goddard, an American who was later called "The Father of Modern
Rocketry", began his study of liquid propellant rockets. In 1912, he proved that rockets would work
in a vacuum. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps commissioned Dr. Goddard to develop a military
rocket and study long range solid fuel bombardment rockets. In November 1918, Dr. Goddard
demonstrated a recoilless rocket to the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The end of
World War I ended Army funding of Dr. Goddard's research. In 1919, Goddard published A Method
of Attaining Extreme Altitude, while studying for his doctorate at Clark University in Worcester,
MA. This paper laid the theoretical foundation for future rocket development in the United States.
It also mentioned that a rocket could be flown to the Moon as a demonstration. In 1919, the public
considered this absurd and dismissed him as a "crackpot." After that he rarely sought publicity for
On March 16, 1926, Dr. Goddard launched the first liquidfueled rocket at a farm in Auburn, MA.
The strange looking vehicle rose to a height of only 41 feet (12.5 m) and landed 184 feet (56 m)
away, all in 2.5 seconds. In 1928, Dr. Goddard launched an improved version which was the first
rocket to contain weather instruments. This vehicle rose to a maximum altitude of 90 feet and the
instruments landed by parachute.
In 1930, Dr. Goddard moved his operation to Roswell, New Mexico. In May 1935, he succeeded in
launching a liquid fueled rocket which had gyro controlled exhaust vanes to an altitude of 7,500 feet
(2,300 m). Until his death in 1945, Dr. Goddard continued to work on a number of improvements to
his rockets, most of which were technological firsts. Goddard developed gyrocontrol guidance
systems, gimbaled nozzles, small high speed centrifugal pumps, and variable thrust rocket engines
and had received more than 200 other rocket patents. All these are used in one form or another on
today's modern rockets.
d. Hermann Oberth was born in Rumania but moved to Germany in his youth. He became a
prominent physicist in Germany.
In 1923, Oberth published The Rocket into Planetary Space. This paper discussed the major
problems that would be encountered by people traveling in space. In 1929, Oberth completed his
doctoral dissertation, The Road to Human Space Travel. This 423 page document was circulated
widely throughout Europe and especially in Germany. In response, Oberth received international
Oberth's writings laid the foundation for German rocket development and inspired others to do so
abroad (Dr. Goddard, in particular). Oberth suggested that if a rocket could develop enough thrust,
it could deliver a payload into orbit.
Following World War II, Oberth came to the United States and worked for the U.S. Army. In 1958,
he retired and returned to Germany.
Impact of the
e. As a motivator, Oberth was the most effective. Tsiolkovsky had a vision and independently
developed many concepts which later proved to be valid. Initially, however, he was not taken
seriously within his own country and was unknown outside of it. It was not until the recognition of
the work of Oberth that the Soviet government decided to publish his works. It was only then that he
received the recognition that he was due. Goddard conducted more experiments and developed more
rockets and rocket components than other early rocket pioneers. He rarely published results of his
work and consciously avoided publicity. This limited the ability of his work to influence the work of
others. Oberth wrote and spoke publicly about rockets and space travel. During the 1930's he even
worked on a German science fiction film about rocket travel to the moon.
a. Although the theoretical ground work for space was laid down by Tsiolkovsky and important
research and engineering work was accomplished by Goddard, it was German scientists and
engineers who first developed and used guided rockets large enough to carry significant payloads.
b. In 1925, Walter Hohmann, a German, published his book, The Attainability of Celestial Bodies,
in which he defined the principles of rocket travel in space, to include how to change the orbit of
satellites. The "Hohmann Transfer" is now a routine procedure to get payloads from low earth orbit
into a geosynchronous orbit.
c. In 1931, the first German liquid propellant rocket, the HW1 designed by Hohmann, was
launched. The first launch attempt was a failure, but the second was successful and the rocket
climbed to an altitude of 295 feet.
d. In 1932, Wernher von Braun was hired by the German Army to develop liquid fuel rockets,
which led to the development of the Aggregate or "A" series of rockets. In 1934, an A2 rocket was
successfully launched to an altitude of 1.5 miles. The A2 led to the development of larger rockets.
In 1937, Von Braun and his development team moved to a peninsula on the Baltic coast near the
small town of Peenemünde in northern Germany. In that same year, Dr. Goddard tested a rocket
with a movable exhaust nozzle and tilting vanes. Von Braun used this technology to develop larger
e. In October 1942, after a number of earlier failures, the first A4 rocket was successfully launched
from Peenemünde. It flew a programmed trajectory and impacted 120 miles down range. This event
could be considered the beginning of the space age because the A4 is the ancestor of practically all
U.S. and Soviet space launchers developed after World War II. The A4 was originally intended to
attack battlefield rear areas beyond the range of conventional artillery. The A4 evolved into the V2
(Vergeltungswaffeswei, German for Vengeance Weapon 2), a ballistic missile weapon which had a
range of up to 200 miles and carried a one ton explosive warhead.
f. In July 1943, Hitler authorized full scale development of the V2. By the end of 1943, the V2 was
in mass production at an underground factory in the Harz Mountains.
g. On September 7, 1944, the first V2 rocket was launched against London. About 4,300 V2s were
eventually launched against England, Belgium and other Allied targets. Once a V2 was launched,
the Allies had no way to intercept it since it fell silently on its target at about 5,200 feet per second
(3,600 miles per hour) which is about the same speed as a modern tank main gun round. The V2
was the most sophisticated and capable rocket that had ever been developed.
h. In early May, 1945, Von Braun and more than 100 of his V2 team were in a small town near the
Austrian border. With elements of the advancing U.S. Seventh Army only a few miles away, Von
Braun and his team surrendered to the U.S. Army. The war in Europe ended on 7 May 1945. Over
the next few months the Army collected all the V2s, V2 components, technical documents and
German technical personnel that they could.
In May 1945, the Soviet Army occupied Peenemünde and captured a considerable amount of
hardware but most of the important German technical personnel and documents were already gone.
The Soviets ended up with a lot of the V2 hardware, the launch complex and some remaining
scientists and technicians.
a. Following World War II, the U.S. military became a leader in the development and use of space.
These space capabilities continue to evolve as new technology is incorporated and users place
greater and greater demands on space systems.
U.S. Army Role
b. The U.S. Army has had an important role in the development and use of space systems. In the
early stages of the U.S. space program, the Army was instrumental in the development of rockets and
satellites. The first U.S. satellite was launched into orbit by an Army Redstone rocket. Many of the
Army's rocket and satellite programs were transferred to NASA shortly after it was created in 1958.
Other program decisions in the 1960's reduced the Army's involvement with space systems. The
Army has always maintained heavy involvement in the design, development and operation of
satellite ground stations. Since the mid1980's, however, the Army has undergone a resurgence in
the use of space systems to support its operations. This increased use of space systems resulted in
new or improved capabilities during Operation DESERT STORM. Space systems provided essential
support in the areas of communications, reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, weather,
terrain analysis, position/navigation and early warning. All of the space systems used were already
in existence but their incorporation into the Army was accelerated. This was the outcome of an
evolutionary process that is still ongoing.
a. In 1943, the Army established the Ordnance Rocket Branch to centrally manage the development
of rockets. In May 1944, the Ordnance Rocket Branch signed a contract with the California Institute
of Technology's (CIT) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to study rocket propulsion and develop long
range surfacetosurface rockets. This became known as Project ORDCIT. This project developed
and tested 24 solid propellant rocket in 1944 at Fort Irwin, California. The U.S. Army developed the
Private, Corporal and Bumper rockets. These were developmental systems that never reached
In 1944, the Army established White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, just north of Fort Bliss,
Texas. White Sands provided more distance for longer range testing.
From 1945 through 1948, the U.S. Army carried out "Operation PAPERCLIP", which moved 492
German and Austrian rocket scientists, their equipment and documents to the United States. The
Army received 177 of these specialists, including Dr. Wernher von Braun, and controlled another 38
working with the Commerce Department. At Fort Bliss, Texas the Army established the Ordnance
Research and Development Rocket SubOffice.
b. At the end of World War II, the United States had the strongest military force in the world and
was the only nation to have atomic bombs and the long range strategic bomber fleet to deliver them.
The defense budget decreased dramatically as the nation demobilized and focused on the civilian
economy. Although the need for modernization was recognized, rocket supporters in the military
services had to compete for limited funds with proponents for jet airplanes, tanks and submarines.
In December 1945, Dr. Vannevar Bush, Chief, Office of Scientific Research and Development, War
Department testified to Congress that for many years it would be impossible to develop a rocket with
a 3,000 mile range. Dr. Bush was responsible for keeping rocket funding in the late 1940's to a
c. In 1945, Arthur C. Clarke, an American, wrote an article for the British magazine, Wireless
World. The article outlined how global communications could be provided using three satellites
positioned evenly around the equator at an altitude of 26,000 miles. Clarke was slightly off in
calculating the correct altitude, which is 22,300 statute miles, but his theory was correct. The
satellites would orbit the Earth in exactly one day, therefore they would appear to be stationary to a
person on the Earth. Later that year the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics completed the first U.S.
military satellite feasibility study which proposed the development of an American satellite. In
November, 1945, General Hap Arnold urged that the Army Air Forces start development of
d. In January 1946, the Army Signal Corps bounced radio signals off of the moon and received the
reflected signals back on Earth. This did not provide an effective communications link but it proved
that radio transmissions through space and back to Earth were possible with moderate power. In
May 1946, a RAND study, World Circling Spaceship, proposed the development of an American
satellite. The study explained the feasibility and utility for civil and military applications, and
proposed a five year $150 million effort. The recommendations of the study were not implemented.
On 16 April 1946, the Army launched the first reconstructed V2 from White Sands Proving Ground,
New Mexico, just north of Fort Bliss. Over the next six years, 64 V2s were launched from White
Sands. Instead of explosives the nose cones carried instruments, which were usually recovered by
In May 1946, the War Department Equipment Board (referred to as the Stillwell Board because it
was chaired by Army General Stillwell) predicted an important military role for tactical missiles in
the future. It also warned that the U.S. must continue to fund research and development to ensure
that the U.S. would not be technologically surprised in the future.
e. In January 1947, the Navy asked the Joint Aeronautical Research and Development Board
(comprised of the Navy and the Army Air Forces) for authority over U.S. satellite development. In
June, that board requested authority from the War Department to fund studies relating to U.S.
In 1947, the National Security Act established the Department of Defense (DoD) and, in September,
organized the Air Force as a separate service with resources coming primarily from the Army Air
In December 1947, the U.S. Navy claimed jurisdiction for the development of defense related
satellites. Later in that month, DoD assigned responsibility for the control and coordination of U.S.
satellite programs to the Joint Aeronautical R&D Board Committee.
f. In 1948, the first Secretary of Defense, J. V. Forrestal, specified the roles and missions of each of
the military services. The Army could develop tactical and Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles
(IRBM) while the Air Force would develop Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) and the Navy
would develop ship or Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBM). The services competed with
each other to gain funding for rocket and satellite development funding. General Vandenberg, U.S.
Air Force Chief of Staff, voiced his opinion that any type of satellite was a logical extension of
strategic air power and, therefore, should be the responsibility of the Air Force. The next day the
Navy withdrew its claim for control of satellite development.
g. In February 1949, the Army launched a two stage rocket into space. The launcher consisted of an
Army WAC (Without Altitude Control) Corporal rocket as the second stage mounted on a V2. It
reached a record altitude of 245 miles, well into space. It was not, however, designed to have
sufficient velocity to place it into orbit. That same month Dr. Von Braun briefed a group of senior
Army generals on how a larger rocket could be developed and how it could be used to explore space
and put satellites into orbit.
By mid1949, the launch safety restrictions at White Sands had become too burdensome to continue
the testing of large rockets. The Army established a new launch site at an isolated place on the west
Florida coast, which developed into Cape Canaveral.
In September 1949, an American weather plane in the Pacific detected radioactive particles in the
atmosphere indicating that the Soviets had tested their own atomic bomb in late August. The
announcement had a chilling effect on the American political mood.
a. In 1950, the Army moved its missile development group to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville,
Alabama and formed the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA). In October 1950, the U.S. Army
launched the first missile, a Bumper WAC, from Cape Canaveral, FL.
The Army had begun development of the Redstone rocket as a tactical ballistic missile, the Air Force
was developing the Atlas as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and the Navy was
developing the Vanguard rockets based on previous work with research rockets.
In April 1951, RAND published a report which presented the engineering needed to use television
technology in satellites for intelligence and weather reconnaissance.
b. In August 1953, the Soviets tested their first hydrogen bomb. In late 1953, U.S. intelligence
sources revealed that the Soviet ICBM program was well on its way to becoming reality. The
assessment was that the Soviets were significantly farther ahead than the U.S. The Soviets would
not only have nuclear weapons but also the means to deliver them against the continental U.S. The
reaction of the American government and people resulted in a major shift in American policy toward
the development of long range ballistic missiles.
Based on the experience of the V2 and Bumper rockets, the Redstone rocket was developed by the
Army Ballistic Missile Agency at Redstone Arsenal as a tactical ballistic missile and a space
launcher. The first launch of the Redstone rocket was on Aug 20, 1953 at Cape Canaveral. The first
Redstone was 69 feet (21 m) tall, had a diameter of 70 inches (178 cm) and a liftoff weight of 62,000
lbs (28,123 kg). It developed a thrust 78,000 lbs (35,400 kg). The rocket served both as a space
launcher and, in 1958, as a tactical ballistic missile stationed in Germany.
c. In 1954, RAND published a report which recommended that the Air Force develop imaging
reconnaissance satellites to monitor developments that were of strategic interest to the United States.
Later in the same year Dr. von Braun proposed that the Army use its Redstone rocket to launch a
Navy developed satellite. In January 1955, Dr. von Braun's proposal was adopted as Project Orbiter.
d. In 1955, in response to the perceived missile gap between the U.S. and the USSR, President
Eisenhower directed that the Atlas ICBM project would be this nation's number one priority. By
mid1955, Atlas test launches were begun but it was not until August 1959 that the Atlas was
Later in 1955, President Eisenhower called for proposals for placing a satellite in orbit as part of the
International Geophysical Year 195758. The Army proposed using a modified Redstone rocket
with a solid fuel upper stage. The Air Force proposed using an Atlas ICBM which was still under
development. The Navy proposed using a Vanguard rocket which was based on its Viking research
The Eisenhower Administration recognized that, due to the vulnerability of manned reconnaissance
aircraft to air defense missiles, reconnaissance satellites would be needed in the future to monitor
activities in the vast Soviet interior. At the time, however, there was no international agreement on
the right of free passage for satellites over another nation's homeland. The administration was
concerned that launching a military sponsored satellite would destabilize the tense cold war political
environment. The administration established a policy of "Space for Peace", therefore the first U.S.
satellite and the rocket used to launch it would be as nonmilitary as possible. The result was that
the ArmyNavy Project Orbiter was canceled and the Navy sponsored Vanguard was selected as the
first U.S. rocket and satellite because it's background was more closely linked to the research
e. In May 1956, the Special Assistant for Guided Missiles to the Secretary of Defense disapproved
the Army's request that the JupiterC be designated as the backup to the Vanguard. The need for
ballistic missiles for retaliatory strikes was a national priority and it was feared that trying to meet
two or more projects simultaneously would dilute the Army's tactical and intermediate ballistic missile work.
f. Although priority went to the Atlas ICBM, the Army was directed to go ahead with the
development of the Jupiter rocket for use as an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). The
Jupiter first stage was an elongated Redstone (8 feet longer) which used a different fuel for a new,
more powerful type rocket motor. The second and third stages were smaller, solid propellant rockets
with multiple rocket engines. In September 1956, a Jupiter C was launched 682 miles into space and
traveled downrange 3,000 miles. With only a little modification, the Army could attain enough
velocity to place a small satellite in orbit. The Army was specifically ordered not to launch anything
into orbit even if it had the capability.
In 1956, the Soviet SS6 ICBM was still under development, but the Soviets were so sure of its
success that in September they announced that they would launch an artificial satellite into orbit
around the Earth as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 19571958. The Western
world considered the claim as fanciful boasting typical of the Soviets, not knowing the great strides
the Soviets had made in the field of rocketry.
The SS6 was ready for its first test launch in May 1957. The SS6 was a single stage missile with
clustered engines that developed twice the power of the United States' Atlas or Titan ICBMs. To
avoid several rocket stages, the Soviets opted to go with a cluster of motors around a central core.
These clusters would be ejected after they had used up their fuel, while the central core motor
continued to burn. The first successful Soviet ICBM launch was conducted in August 1957. With
this the Soviets demonstrated that not only did they have nuclear weapons but also the means to
deliver them against targets in the continental U.S.
In 1957, the military held the first space symposium. General Shriever, USAF, proposed that an
ICBM be used to launch a satellite. Soon after his comments, Pentagon directives ordered no further
mention of the use of ICBMs as satellite launchers since this gave the appearance of going against
the administration's policy of "Space for Peace."
a. On 4 October 1957, the Soviets used an SS6 Sapwood ICBM to launch Sputnik (Traveler) 1, the
world's first artificial satellite. The payload weighed 184 pounds. It only carried a radio beeper
which transmitted 21 days before the batteries wore out, but it opened the Space Age.
b. The United States and the rest of the world were caught by surprise. Many had felt that Soviet
technology was crude and that they were not capable of developing a powerful rocket on their own.
The launching of Sputnik I was the kind of technological surprise that the Stillwell Report had
warned against. Now the Soviets had nuclear weapons, ICBMs and a satellite launcher.
It just so happened that on the day that Sputnik I was launched into space, the new Secretary of
Defense McElroy was visiting the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) at Redstone Arsenal.
MG Medaris, CG ABMA, briefed that the Army could launch a U.S. satellite using the Jupiter rocket
in a few months if told to go ahead.
c. On 3 November 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2 into low Earth orbit. The 1,119 pound
satellite carried a live dog named Laika. The launching of such a heavy satellite demonstrated that
the Soviets might be able to put nuclear weapons into orbit and deorbit them on command at any
time. The warning time to the U.S. would be minimal and there was no defense against such
Army and Navy
d. On 8 November 1957, the President directed the Army to orbit a satellite by March 1958.
The Navy's Vanguard program had been progressing satisfactorily although it had experienced some
delays and some test failures. After the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 the Vanguard program was
accelerated. The launch of Sputnik 2 resulted in a rush for the U.S. to launch something into orbit.
Additional pressure resulted when the Army was directed to orbit a satellite. A Vanguard launch
attempt in December 1957 was a disaster. The booster, after lifting several feet off the ground, lost
power and fell back onto the pad, bursting into flames.
Jupiter C rocket
a In response to the President's directive, the Army prepared a Jupiter C rocket for a space launch.
The Jupiter C launched the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I, into orbit on 31 January 1958. The small
satellite, which consisted of a fourth stage rocket with a few miniaturized instruments and a radio,
sent back data until 23 May 1958. The data led to the discovery of radiation belts in space around
the Earth. The belts were named after Dr. Van Allen who had designed the instruments in Explorer I.
The satellite's orbit finally decayed on 31 March 1970 after making about 58,000 revolutions
around the Earth.
b. In response to public concern, Congress held hearings to determine how and why the U.S. was
surpassed by the Soviet Union. In January 1958, the Special Committee on Space and Astronautics
of the Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Senator Lyndon Johnson found that:
In September 1956, an Army Jupiter
C rocket had reached an altitude of 682 miles.
The Army had offered to launch a
satellite prior to 1957.
In May 1956, an Assistant Secretary
of Defense had refused to designate the Army's Jupiter C rocket as a backup
for the Vanguard.
a. A second Jupiter C launch on 5 March 1958, carrying Explorer II, failed to achieve orbit when
the fourth stage rocket failed to ignite.
b. Vanguard finally did succeed in getting into space on 17 March 1958. The Vanguard satellite
continued to transmit data from it's instruments until 1964. Although now inoperative, it is still in
orbit, thus making it the oldest artificial satellite still in orbit. It will retain that status until about the
40th century. Unfortunately, the next two Vanguard launch attempts failed.
c. The Explorer III satellite was successfully launched by an Army Juno rocket from Cape Canaveral
on 26 March 1958. Explorer III was the first satellite to carry a tape recorder so that data could be
stored on board the satellite and then transmitted on command when the satellite came within range
of a satellite ground station.
d. On 26 July 1958, the Army launched another Juno I rocket which carried the Explorer IV satellite
into an elliptical, inclined orbit. The satellite measured the results of a high altitude nuclear
explosion and took measurements of the sun for about three months. Its orbit decayed in October
Explorer V on 24 August 1958 and Beacon I on 23 October 1958 failed to achieve orbit.
e. The Army launched its last Explorer satellite, Explorer VII, on 13 October 1959. It studied
Xrays emitted by the Sun and their influence on the ionosphere. It also identified the heavy
particles constituting cosmic rays and measured the amount of heat emitted by the Earth.
a. The U.S. space program was fragmented with efforts by the Army, Navy and Air Force. The
military services were competing as hard against each other as they were against the Soviets.
President Eisenhower's scientific advisor, Dr. James R. Killian, president of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT), was tasked to study the situation and present a recommendation to
the President. The military services lobbied hard to maintain control of the nation's space effort.
Influenced by the President's "Space for Peace" policy, Dr. Killian recommended the establishment
of a civilian agency to handle all aspects of research and development with civilian scientists guiding
the space program.
b. While plans for this new agency were tied up in red tape, the President could not let time and
events overtake our space program. He directed the establishment of the Advanced Research
Projects Agency (ARPA) within the Department of Defense. ARPA's plans for space exploration
were soon approved by the President, and in a sense ARPA was the first U.S. space agency, even
though its role was shortlived.
c. In June 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Act was adopted. This act created the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), effective on 1 October 1958, and gave it a broad
charter for civilian aeronautical and space research. The core of NASA's facilities came from the
National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which was disbanded. The Air Force would
continue development of ICBMs and the Navy could continue development of sealaunched rockets
although the Navy did transfer Project Vanguard and part of the Naval Research Lab to NASA in
November 1958. The Army could continue to develop IRBMs but would transfer much of its rocket
program to NASA. Most NASA facilities, launch sites and test ranges have been, and continue to
be, built under the supervision of the Army Corps of Engineers.
Juno II Rocket
a. The Army continued to improve its space launch capability by developing the Juno II rocket. The
Juno II was a Sergeant missile top stage on a Jupiter first stage.
On 6 December 1958, an Army Juno II rocket launched the Pioneer III lunar probe for NASA. It did
not reach the Moon but it did travel more than 63,500 miles out into space and gathered radiation
data that indicated the existence of a second radiation belt around the Earth.
b. In late June 1958, the U.S. Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory (SRDL) at Fort
Monmouth, New Jersey was directed to construct a communications satellite with a maximum
weight of 150 pounds. The launch vehicle would be an Air Force Atlas ICBM. The entire rocket
was to be placed into orbit and, therefore, it was decided that the communications equipment would
be integrated into the fairing pods of the missile. The orbit was expected to be low, therefore life
expectancy of the satellite was only 2 to 3 weeks. The low orbit and short life would limit
opportunities for realtime relay between two ground stations, therefore, a storeandforward mode
was added by including a tape recorder. This would also give the satellite a worldwide broadcast
capability. Since reliability was a concern, a second tape recorder was added to the communications
package. The work progressed in strict secrecy.
c. By December 1958, the Army's SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment)
satellite was ready to be launched. A prerecorded message prepared by a member of the
SRDLSCORE team was loaded in the tape recorders. At the last minute, however, President
Eisenhower was persuaded to record a Christmas message to the world. The President's tape was
rushed to the Cape Canaveral launch site. The communications package was already sealed in the
Atlas missile which was on the launch pad and fueled. On the morning of 18 December, the Signal
Corps transmitted the President's message across Cape Canaveral to the communications payload on
the waiting rocket. The SCORE payload dutifully recorded the new message onto both the primary
and backup tape recorders. At 1802 hours, 18 December 1958 the Atlas missile was launched into
an orbit with a perigee of 114 miles, an apogee of 920 miles, an inclination of 32.3 degrees and a
period of 101.5 minutes. On the first orbit, as the satellite passed over California, the primary
payload did not respond properly. Finally on 19 December, the backup tape recorder responded to
coded commands from the ground and transmitted the President's message on a short-wave
frequency to the world below.
"This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of
scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite traveling in outer
space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you
and all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men
The second SCORE package continued to work perfectly, responding to 78 realtime and
storeandforward voice and teletype transmissions between ground stations located in Georgia,
Texas, Arizona and California. After 12 days the batteries failed. On 21 January 1959, the satellite
reentered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up.
Air Force Atlas
d. The Air Force's 9,000 pound Atlas rocket body was the heaviest object to have been launched into
orbit and the Army's SCORE satellite was the first communications satellite.
e. In January 1959, NASA published the selection criteria for astronauts. One of the requirements
was that all astronauts had to be experienced test pilots. This effectively eliminated Army personnel
from consideration as early astronaut candidates. In 1964, the requirement for test pilot experience
was dropped as a requirement for crewmembers.
f. On 17 February 1959, a Vanguard 2 satellite was launched into low Earth orbit. The satellite
carried an Army developed cloud imaging sensor. Unfortunately, the satellite wobbled erratically,
thus making imaging impossible.
On 28 February 1959, the Discoverer 1 satellite was launched from Vandenberg AFB, CA. It
became the first polar orbiting satellite. The satellite carried a camera and exposed film was to be
ejected from the satellite, reenter the atmosphere and be recovered. Unfortunately, the ejection
On March 3, 1959, an Army developed Juno II rocket launched Pioneer IV toward the Moon.
Pioneer passed within 37,300 miles of the Moon and became the first freeworld artificial satellite to
orbit the sun. Unfortunately, this U.S. achievement was overshadowed by the Soviet's Luna 1 which
had previously passed within 3700 miles of the surface of the moon.
On 13 October 1959, the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), acting for NASA, launched
Explorer VII using a Juno II rocket.
The technology applied in the Juno II rocket was important in the subsequent deep space
explorations by Ranger, Mariner, Viking and Surveyor spacecraft.
g. The Army continued development of the Juno V rocket which later became known as the Saturn I.
The Air Force's Atlas and Titan ICBM programs were progressing well, therefore, DoD
considered the Saturn development program as too costly. NASA, however, found the Saturn
booster technology to be promising for use in the launching of heavier unmanned satellites and the
launching of manned spacecraft.
Transfer to Air
a. The Army Ballistic Missile Agency transferred the Jupiter IRBM program to the Air Force in
1958. More than sixty missiles were eventually deployed with Air Force units based in Italy and
Turkey where they were in range of the Soviet Union.
b. In November 1959, the Army transferred its Saturn rocket development program to NASA.
In late 1959, NASA and the Army negotiated the transfer of most of the Army Ballistic Missile
Agency, the Explorer satellite program and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to
NASA. This transfer included Dr. von Braun and 2,327 other rocket and satellite specialists. NASA
established the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL in the spring of 1960.
c. The Army had now lost most of its space capability but it did retain proponency for ballistic
missile defense based on its accomplishments with the NikeZeus program and was allowed to
continue development of the solid propellant Pershing I rocket as a replacement for the Redstone.
a. On 1 April 1960, TIROS 1, (Television and Infrared Observation Satellite), the first US weather
satellite, was launched into low Earth orbit on a ThorAble rocket. TIROS 1 carried a television
camera on the satellite that was used to transmit the first TV pictures of the Earth from space. The
Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the Army Signal Corps had helped to develop the TIROS 1 and 2
satellites. The payload control and ground receiving station for the images was at Fort Monmouth.
b. On 18 August 1960, an attempt to put an Army developed Courier 1A communications satellite
into orbit failed when the rocket exploded about 2.5 minutes after liftoff. The Courier satellite had
first been proposed by the Army Signal Corps back in September 1958, two months before the
launch of the SCORE satellite.
On 4 October 1960, the Army's COURIER 1B satellite was launched into low earth orbit. The
storage and transmission capacity was much greater than that of the SCORE satellite. It was also the
first communications satellite to be powered by long life solar cells to recharge nickel cadmium
storage batteries. After completing one orbit, a message from President Eisenhower to the United
Nations was transmitted from Fort Monmouth and relayed to a ground station in Puerto Rico. After
228 orbits in 17 days, the payload refused to respond to commands from the ground. It is believed
that the clock based access codes got out of synchronization, therefore the satellite would not respond
to what it interpreted as unauthorized commands. While operational the satellite had relayed more
than 50 million words of teletype data.
a. On 9 December 1960, the Mercury 1 unmanned capsule was launched on a suborbital flight using
an Army Redstone missile.
b. 12 April 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, flying in a Vostok capsule. After
the capsule reentered the atmosphere, a parachute was deployed. Although Gagarin was the first
person to orbit the Earth he was not the first to be launched and to return in a "spaceship". It was
learned many years later that at a predetermined altitude, Gagarin jumped out of the capsule and
used his own parachute to land.
On 5 May 1961, Alan Shepard, in the Mercury 3 capsule called Freedom 7, became the first
American to make a suborbital flight into space. The launcher was a modified Army Redstone
rocket. The flight lasted 15 minutes and 22 seconds, reached an altitude of 116.5 miles and traveled
303.8 miles downrange.
On 21 July 1961, Virgil Grissom went into space in another suborbital Mercury mission launched by
the Army's Redstone rocket.
On 20 February 1962, John Glenn, in the Mercury 6 capsule on an Atlas D launcher, became the
first American to orbit the Earth.
a. In 1961, the Department of Defense assigned the mission of managing and operating U.S.
military space launch vehicles and satellites to the Air Force.
b. In the early 1960's, the Defense Communications Agency (DCA) was formed as a DoD
organization. The DCA assumed most of the Army's role as a developer of communication payloads
in satellite systems.
c. In 1962, the U.S. Army Satellite Communications Agency was created at Fort Monmouth. The
Army's responsibilities were limited to ground terminals and ground support for space systems. The
Army continues to perform this mission today.
d. In 1964 Syncom C (designated Syncom III after achieving orbit) was launched. It was eventually
positioned over the Pacific Ocean where it served as the first geostationary communications satellite.
Most of the ground stations for satellite platform and payload control were built and operated by the
e. In June 1966, eight Initial Defense Satellite Communication System(IDSCS) military
communications satellites were launched from Cape Kennedy into a 21,000 mile sub-synchronous
equatorial orbits. They were individually released over a six hour period so that they would be
dispersed. Eventually, a full constellation of 26 IDSCS satellites were put into orbit, thus enabling
continuous communications between two points up to 10,000 miles apart. Each 100 lb satellite had a
single omnidirectional antenna which could handle two high quality or five tactical quality voice
circuits between two ground stations equipped with 40foot steerable antennas developed by the U.S.
Army. In 1967, the IDSCS satellites were used to relay high quality photographs and other data on
Vietnam to Hawaii and on to the President in Washington.
a. By the early 1970's there was concern that although national satellite systems were providing
essential capabilities to the national and strategic levels, tactical users in the military services were
not being provided adequate access to these classified systems.
b In 1973, the Army took the lead by establishing the Army Space Program Office (ASPO) to
execute the Army Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities Program (TENCOP), serve as the
unique technical and fiscal interface with the national program offices, and manage the TENCAP
The Army's TENCAP program is based on exploiting current and future tactical potential of
national capabilities and integrating these capabilities into the Army's tactical decision making
process as rapidly as possible. This approach was so successful that Congress ordered all services to
establish a TENCAP program based on the Army's model in 1977.
National systems are designed to support strategic requirements. The ASPO leverages the national
technology to provide downlinking of these strategic systems to tactical levels. This data provides
and accurate and current picture of the enemy and the terrain during planning and execution.
National data combined with data from other sources significantly enhances the Intelligence
Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB). For Haiti, TENCAP systems provided the primary source of
imagery directly to the JTF Commander's analysts for planning the operation and executing the
initial assault. For Desert Storm, TENCAP systems provided the majority of targeting support for
deep operations and imagery for IPB support of operation planning/maneuver for both XVIII and VII
Corps. TENCAP systems are also a significant source of support to humanitarian efforts. For
Hurricane Andrew, TENCAP systems provided the quickest and most detailed damage assessment to
the task force commander. TENCAP's secondary dissemination and intelligence broadcast
capabilities provide the quickest and most detailed damage assessment to the task force commander.
TENCAP secondary dissemination and intelligence broadcast capabilities provide continuing
awareness through all phases of operations. They provide the tactical commander the ability to "see
deep" in today's battlefield and then to assess the impact of shooting deep.
ASPO has developed and fielded over ninety systems to both Army and air Force tactical units.
After twenty years the ASPO charter was revalidated in 1993. Today the Army TENCAP program is
the largest and most successful of the individual services programs.
a. Since the beginning of the Space shuttle Program, eight Army personnel have been selected by
NASA as Space Shuttle astronauts. All have flown on Space Shuttle Missions as Mission
Specialists. Additionally, one Army Warrant Officer has flown as a Payload Specialist.
Applications for assignment as Space Shuttle Astronauts are submitted through the U.S. Army
Personnel Command to NASA. Selection to the Astronaut Program is made by NASA.
LTC Robert L.
b. In January 1978, MAJ Robert L. Stewart was selected by NASA as the first Army Astronaut. On
3 February 1984, LTC Stewart became the first Army soldier to go into space when he flew as a
Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Mission STS 41-B (Challenger). In addition to the deployment
of two communication satellites, a highlight of this mission occurred when LTC Stewart and Navy
Captain Bruce McCandless became the first two humans to perform an untethered Extra-Vehicular
Activity (EVA), or spacewalk, by using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) to move away from
the shuttle. LTC Stewart flew in space a second time as a crewmember of STS 51-J (Atlantis), 3-7
October 1985, which deployed two military satellites.
c. In 1980, three Army officers, including MAJ James C. Adamson, were assigned to the Johnson
Space Center (JSC) in support roles as part of memorandum of understanding between NASA and
the DA. They were the initial contingent of what became the JSC Detachment of the Army Space
Agency (now the U.S. Army Space Command) in 1987. Numerous other Army personnel have
subsequently filled positions in Houston, gaining space operations experience to bring back to the
Army, or moving into the NASA Astronaut Corps, as MAJ Adamson did in 1984.
d. LTC Sherwood "Woody" Spring, selected by NASA in 1980, flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-61B
(Atlantis) from 26 November to 3 December 1985. During the mission, the crew deployed three
communications satellites. Additionally, LTC Spring and USAF MAJ Jerry Ross conducted and
EVA to demonstrate the feasibility of constructing trusses in space.
c. In January 1987, the U.S. Army Space Agency's NASA Detachment was established at Johnson
Space Center, Houston, Texas. Army astronauts and other Army personnel working at NASA are
assigned to this unit.
Later in 1987, the Army presented a concept briefing to the DOD MilitaryManinSpace
Prioritization Board for two manned experiments, Terra Scout and Terra Geode, to be conducted on
the Space Shuttle. Terra Scout received a high priority and was manifested in September 1991.
d. LTC James C. Adamson was a Mission Specialist on STS28 (Columbia) which conducted a
classified DOD mission from August 8 13, 1989. COL Adamson flew again on STS-43 (Atlantis),
2-11 August 1991, which deployed a communications satellite.
MAJ Charles "Sam" Gemar flew as a mission specialist on STS38 (Atlantis), a classified DOD
mission, from 15-20 November 1990. LTC Gemar's second mission was STS-48 (Discovery), 12-18
September 1991, which deployed an atmospheric research satellite. His third flight was STS-62
(Columbia), 4-18 March 1994, a microgravity research mission where the Shuttle was lowered to
105 nautical miles, the lowest ever flown by a Space Shuttle.
LTC James S. "Jim" Voss and CW3 Tom Hennen flew onboard STS-44 (Atlantis) in November
1991. During this mission a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite was deployed with an Inertial
Upper State rocket booster. Also, CW3 Hennen conducted the Terra Scout experiment. In
December 1992, LTC Voss and LTC M. Richard "Rich" Clifford were crewmembers aboard STS-53
(Discovery) which carried a classified payload on the last DOD Shuttle flight. This was the first
time that two Army officers were on the same shuttle flight. COL Voss' third mission was on STS-69
(Endeavour) which deployed and retrieved two research satellites. During this mission, COL Voss
conducted and EVA to develop techniques to be used in the construction of the International Space
LTC Clifford was subsequently assigned to the crew of STS-59 (Endeavour) which conducted radar
mapping of the surface and atmosphere of the earth 9-20 April 1994. His third Shuttle mission, STS-76
(Atlantis) took place in the Spring 1996. STS-76 will be the third Shuttle flight to rendezvous and
dock with the Russian Space Station Mir.
MAJ Nancy J. Currie (formerly Nancy Sherlock) was a crewmember on STS-57 (Endeavour), 21
June-1 July 1993, which retrieved a European research satellite. MAJ Currie became the first Army
female officer in space. Her second mission was STS-70 (Discovery), 13-22 July 1995, during which
a NASA Tracking and Data Relay communications satellite was deployed.
LTC William S. "Bill" McArthur served as a Mission Specialist on STS-58 (Columbia), a record
seven-person life science duration medical research flight. His second flight, STS-74 (Atlantis) took
place in Fall 1995. STS-74 was the second Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian
Space Station Mir.
Air Force Space
a. The U.S. Air Force Space Command was activated in September 1982.
b. In March 1983, President Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). This was a
major shift in national defense philosophy from massive retaliation to an active, non-nuclear defense
that would be able to defend the United States against ICBMs. Later that year, DOD formed the
Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) to manage the SDI research and development
program and coordinate work within DOD.
c. Also in 1983, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army (VCSA) formed the Army Space Council made
up of designated general officers. The Army Space Council meets periodically to coordinate actions,
approve proposals and provide guidance on Army involvement in and use of space. Staff
responsibilities, were, however, split among many offices within Headquarters, Department of the
Army in the Pentagon. The Army Space Executive Working Group was formed to coordinate and
work on space related actions, especially those that would go before the Space Council.
d. In 1984, the Army Science Board studied the Army's use of space to support its missions. The
board concluded that the Army made only minor use of existing space capabilities and was not active
nor influential in the design and operation of most of the systems.
e. In January 1985, the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) directed that a Space
Directorate be formed at Fort Leavenworth. The Space Directorate consisted of six people assigned
to the Combined Arms Combat Developments Activity (CACDA). This directorate was tasked with
developing concepts, doctrine and operational requirements for the use of space to support Army
f. In May 1985, General Thurman, the VCSA directed that a special study group be formed for six
months to analyze how the Army should use space and the Army's role in space. The Deputy Chief
of Staff for Operations and Plans (DCSOPS) of the Army directed the establishment of the Army
Space Initiatives Study (ASIS) group of 30 officers from throughout the Army be formed at Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas to develop a blueprint for future Army involvement and investment in space
that would enhance Army land operations around the world.
g. On 1 July 1985, the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command was activated using the resources of
the Army's Ballistic Missile Defense Command (BMDSCOM) in Huntsville, Alabama.
h. By August 1985, the Concepts Directorate of CACDA, with assistance from the Space
Directorate, had prepared an interim operational concept titled Army Space Operations.
i. On 23 September 1985, DoD established the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) as
a unified command with its headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
j. In December 1985, the ASIS group presented the results of its study to the leadership of the Army.
The study concluded that space and space systems had great potential to enhance the conduct of
Army missions at all levels of war and in peace. It found that responsibility for the development,
coordination and use of space capabilities was fragmented throughout many commands in the Army.
The study contained 203 recommendations which are summarized below:
Designate ODCSOPS as the senior
staff proponent for space in HQDA.
Designate the Combined Arms Center
at Fort Leavenworth as the Army proponent for space and the lead school for
combat developments and space education.
Form an Army Space Command as the
Army component of the U.S. Space Command.
Integrate space into Army
Designate the Army Materiel Command
as the responsible command for the management and development of space research
and development in the Army.
Conduct Mission Area Analyses to
determine the scope of potential usage of space capabilities in the
Train Army personnel on space and
Establish an Additional Skill Identifier
(ASI) to identify and track personnel with experience, education and training
in space systems.
k. On 2 June 1986, the CACDA Space Directorate was redesignated the Army Space Institute
On 20 June 1986, the Space Division, Space and Special Weapons Directorate (DAMOSWX) was
established within DCSOPS, HQDA.
In August 1986, the Army Space Planning Group at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, was
expanded into the U.S. Army Space Agency (USASA). USASA was a field operating agency of the
ODCSOPS, DA. It was the Army's representative at the U.S. Space Command. As such it was the
focal point for operations and planning for space systems support to Army forces around the world.
l. On 1 October 1987, the U.S. Army Space Institute (USASI) was organized at the Combined Arms
Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. USASI, with an authorized strength of 35, was designated as the
proponent for space in the Army. It was responsible for the development and integration of Army
concepts, doctrine, combat developments, operational requirements, training and personnel
proponency associated with the Army's use of space.
m. In a 24 August 1987 letter, the Assistant Secretary of the Army requested that the Commanding
General of HQ, U.S. Army Material Command establish a technology manager to manage the near
and possible far-term space R&D programs and to provide a developer focus both within the Army
and with outside agencies such as DARPA, USAF, NASA, etc. The Commanding General, U.S.
Army Material Command created the Army Space Technology and Research Office (ASTRO) in
response to that request on 6 January 1988. The ASTRO functions were subsequently transferred to
USASSDC in order to consolidate as many of the Army space-related activities as possible under a
n. In August 1992, the U.S. Army redesignated the Headquarters, U.S. Army Strategic Defense
Command, Arlington, VA, as the Headquarters, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command
assigned within the Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. The Commanding General, USASSDC,
functions as the designated Army focal point for space and strategic defense matters, and is
responsible for exploitation of space and strategic assets for use by the warfighting CINC's. Also,
the U.S. Army Space Command (USARSPACE) was moved from an operating agency of the Army
Chief of Staff for Operations to a subordinate command of USASSDC.
a. In November 1986, at a meeting of the Army Space Council, the VCSA stated that most of the
Army was not aware of space capabilities. He directed that a Space Demonstration Program be
initiated with the goal of demonstrating current capabilities to Army units. From December 1986 to
March 1987, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition (DCSRDA, now
designated the Office of the Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition,
(OSARDA) received numerous demonstration submissions from organizations throughout the Army.
DSCRDA developed five proposed space demonstrations and presented them to the Space Council
in April 1987. At the same meeting the Army Space Institute presented a briefing on the Army
Space Concept. The VCSA directed USASI to review the proposed space demonstration program to
ensure that it was in concert with the space concept. Following a series of meetings a refined list of
space demonstrations was developed. In June 1987, USASI forwarded a final version of the
proposed Army Space Demonstration Program. It was approved for execution by the DCSOPS in
August 1987. The intent of the program was to demonstrate the capabilities of space systems to
provide support to tactical units in the Army. Lessons learned from the demonstrations would be
used to guide development of standard military equipment.
b. The initial Army Space Demonstration Program consisted of the following demonstrations:
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Weather and Terrain.
Lightweight Small Satellite
Theater Missile Defense Tactical
c. In March 1988, USASI published a draft U.S. Army Space Architecture. The basic strategy was
to undertake three related efforts. To acquire near term capability the Army should acquire existing
receivers and processors, and deploy them to tactical units. The Army should develop improved
processors to provide enhanced capabilities in the midterm. To ensure that future satellites would
have capabilities suited to their needs, the Army should participate in the design of future systems.
d. In April 1988, the Army Space Agency evolved to become the U.S. Army Space Command
(USARSPACE). As a command, it became the Army component of the U.S. Space Command. It is
responsible for providing operational space planning and support to the Army. The responsibility for
the operation of the Defense Satellite Communication System Operations Centers was transferred
from the Information Systems Command to USARSPACE.
e. In 1989 and 1990, the Army Space Demonstration Program had acquired some equipment and
demonstrated its capabilities to Army units around the globe. The Small Lightweight GPS Receiver
(SLGR) demonstrated capabilities of handheld GPS receivers for accurate position and navigation
data to tactical users. Wraase weather receivers were deployed to many Air Force weather teams
supporting Army divisions, separate brigades and other units. DARPA funded the launch of some
lightweight satellites which had small UHF communications packages on them. AN/PSC3
TACSAT radios demonstrated the capability to relay voice and data messages directly between users
in the same theater or to store and forward messages on the other side of the globe. Research and
development in using GPS to determine accurate azimuth information in realtime led to
development of three prototype receiver/processors with special antennas.
By August 1990, the objectives of the Army Space Demonstration Program were being realized. On
1 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in the
region. This led to Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Many tactical units
deployed to the Gulf area had participated in the Army Space Demonstration Program and now
commanders demanded the space capabilities they had seen.
a. Units arriving in the theater were deployed into the desert, usually to areas where there were few
terrain features on which to orient. Maps were not current and one area was often indistinguishable
from another. The civil communications infrastructure only existed in towns and cities.
b. An extensive communications network was needed to support the many units deployed to Saudi
Arabia. Voice communications were required for command and control at all levels of command.
Data circuits were needed to pass logistics status and requests, imagery, and message traffic.
Communications were necessary to other theaters and CONUS bases supporting the operation. A
spare DSCS satellite was repositioned over the Indian Ocean so that three were available for support.
FLTSATCOM satellites provided UHF voice and data links within the theater and to stations
outside the theater. These military communications satellites were supplemented with capabilities
provided though INMARSAT and INTELSAT satellites.
c. The weather in the theater, particularly during the winter, had significant impact on the conduct
of operations. Current weather data was provided by a geostationary METEOSAT located over the
equator off the west coast of Africa and by DMSP and NOAA low Earth orbiting, polar satellites.
d. Various Army and DoD organizations involved in multispectral imagery processing developed an
ad hoc structure to rapidly support DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. Some of the key
participants included the Topographic Engineering Center (TEC), Intelligence Threat Analysis
Center (ITAC), U.S. Army Space Institute (USASI), U.S. Army Space Command (USARSPACE),
and 30th Engineer (Topographic) Battalion. TEC duplicated Defense Mapping Agency data tapes
required by other Army organizations and ITAC produced image maps and other special products.
Both organizations were invaluable in exploitation of multispectral imagery.
e. USARSPACE and USASI personnel worked with the 30th Eng (Topo) Bn using commercially
available hardware and software to process multispectral imagery to produce picture maps for much
of Kuwait and Iraq. To provide the 30th Eng (Topo) Bn with a multispectral imagery processing
capability, USARSPACE moved its multispectral imagery processor to Fort Bragg and ASI moved
its processor from Fort Leavenworth to USARSPACE HQ, Colorado Springs to replace their
processing capability. They operated the equipment at USARSPACE headquarters 24 hours a day
for 10 days processing imagery. They taped images together, had them commercially reproduced in
a large quantity and then drove them to Fort Bragg (the fastest means available for the quantity) for
shipment to Saudi Arabia. Other smaller amounts were regularly sent by commercial air express
between Colorado Springs and Fort Bragg. When the 30th Eng (Topo) Bn deployed to Saudi Arabia,
one USARSPACE civilian spent one month in country training operators on the commercial
f. This experience with multispectral imagery has fueled a constant demand for products from units
throughout the Army that used image maps and other multispectral imagery products during
DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
Map supplements were produced from LANDSAT and SPOT satellite data.
GPS in Desert
a. As the build up for DESERT STORM began, USARSPACE assembled 410 of the 500 SLGRs
used in the Army Space Demonstration Program from units throughout the Army. USARSPACE
personnel checked them out to ensure they worked, prepared warning labels on how to protect the
sets from chemicals and instructions on proper disposal of lithium batteries; assembled an initial
supply of batteries; worked with HQDA Deputy Chief of Staff Operations to develop a distribution
plan to ship them to units of the XVIII Abn Corps, 82nd, 24th and 101st divisions. The Army Space
Institute provided the SLGR Training Manual and USARSPACE trained the trainers day and night,
using lighted football fields to keep training going. In response to the demand from tactical units,
the GPS Joint Program Office began what led to the Army purchasing almost 10,000 SLGR sets
from at least two manufacturers. For the first time, a significant number of GPS receivers were
available for use by tactical units of all services. Initially, there were enough operational GPS
satellites to provide about 17 hours of coverage each day. Additional satellites were launched and
put into operation which increased the coverage to about 19 hours per day. GPS Mission Controllers
at Falcon AFB optimized the GPS satellite constellation. GPS receivers provided the ability to
navigate accurately at high speed, day and night, across open desert with little to orient on. When
moving, the GPS receivers could provide direction and velocity.
b. TENCAP systems were deployed in direct support to Third Army, XVIII airborne and VII Corps,
and each U.S. Division. The first intelligence systems deployed to Desert Shield were TENCAP. It
was the primary source of intelligence in support of XVIII Airborne Corps and Third Army during
the initial stages of the movement to Saudi Arabia. Theater and tactical systems did not close and
become fully operational for almost sixty days. In the interim TENCAP was the source of
intelligence for targeting, IPB and situation awareness.
c. Two DSP satellites were used to provide early detection of Iraqi SCUD missile launches against
Saudi Arabia and Israel. This early warning data was transmitted from CONUS over military
communications satellites to headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The warning was then relayed to Patriot
air defense units and to civil authorities.
d. TENCAP imagery was the basis for mapping and terrain analysis throughout Desert Shield/Desert
Storm. Tactical maps did not exist for most of the area of operations for five months.
The ASPO, in conjunction with the Engineer Topographic support Center, provided specialized
hardware and software to the tactical engineer topographic teams that combined National, Landsat
and SPOT imagery to product picto-maps. The detailed terrain analysis used by XVIII Airborne
Corps and the USMC was all produced using TENCAP imagery.
The Army TENCAP Secondary Imagery Dissemination (SID) architecture became the primary SID
architecture for the entire theater. ASPO worked with the national program offices to produce
several means of dissemination. The first, called SLDCOM, utilized literally space junk to relay a
UHF signal to the TENCAP systems. The second means involved using a specialized S-band
transceiver at 56 Kbs to relay SID from CONUS TENCAP systems to Saudi Arabia then used the
SLDCOM to rebroadcast the SID in theater to all TENCAP systems down to and including all US
division headquarters. This architecture allowed the XVIII to provide in excess of 4000 SIC
products during Desert Storm.
a. In Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia in 1992 and 1993, space systems once again provided
direct support to the deployed troops. There was no dependable national communications
infrastructure. Current maps did not exist. Survey points within the country either did not exist or
were not reliable. An antenna on a DSCS satellite was repositioned to focus on the country.
b. TENCAP once again provided the critical imagery for planning and execution for RESTORE
HOPE. Within four hours of notification TENCAP imagery was flowing to the 10th Mtn Division
commanders down through the company level, on the area and their individual objectives. The
TENCAP imagery was the commanders reconnaissance of the area. Again TENCAP imagery was
the primary source of terrain analysis and pseudo mapping for operations in Somalia. The FAST-I
was provided to the 10th Mtn from Ft. Bragg, NC. This imagery was used as the operational
planning tool prior to units going into a new area. The all weather day/night capabilities of the
imagery proved invaluable for quick response planning requirements.
c. The FORSCOM Emergency Operations Center initially alerted USARSPACE to be prepared to
support the XVIII Airborne Corps deploying to Somalia. The corps staff stated that they needed
SLGR sets that had been converted to provide less than 15m accuracy, multispectral imagery
processing equipment, and INMARSAT terminals. USARSPACE prepared all equipment for
shipment but, before shipping was accomplished, the corps was taken off alert. Shortly thereafter,
FORSCOM notified USARSPACE that the 10th Mountain Division was on alert. The USARSPACE
Operations Officer called the division G3. The 10th Mountain Division did not have any SLGR sets,
INMARSAT terminals, trained Wraase operators, nor good maps of the expected area of operations.
Within 36 hours, USARSPACE reboxed eight upgraded SLGR sets, 11 INMARSAT StandardA
terminals, a multispectral imagery processor and a Seaspace weather satellite receiver, and sent the
equipment and trainers to Ft Drum, NY. Eight trainers spent about one week at Ft Drum with the
various pieces of equipment. The multispectral imagery processor has remained at Ft Drum
supporting the deployed forces. The Seaspace weather satellite receiver supported the Joint Task
Force headquarters in Somalia, providing the task force with timely DMSP weather data.
d. USARSPACE also provided two INMARSAT terminals to the 43rd Support Group along with a
set of image maps.
e. LANDSAT and SPOT imagery data were used to supplement and update maps. GPS satellites
provided accurate position and navigation data to a variety of GPS receivers used by all the services.
Weather satellites provided essential data for making accurate weather predictions.
a. For Operations Restore Democracy in Haiti, TENCAP provided the key information used to
formulate the operations plan then modify it, after the JTF was underway, from a hostile airborne/air
assault operation involving simultaneous drop/landing zones to a "peaceful" single airland operation.
b. TENCAP information was used to pinpoint all key military and infrastructure area. Every
military and governmental compound was located with detail imagery. Imagery was provided down
to the team level for Special Forces, Army and Marine platoon objectives. Every emitter in the
country was located and plans formulated to take over and/or how to restore to operational status
prior to the eventual assault. At Ft. Bragg a very large mosaic of Port a Prince and other key locals
were assembled so that assault commanders could literally walk the terrain they were assigned to.
The overwhelming support provided by TENCAP system to the JTF Commander allowed him to
formulate and change plans with data organic to him. He did not have to rely on the CINC assets or
capabilities to formulate the plan. In fact TENCAP imagery was supplied to the CINC for his better
understanding and approval of the operations plan.
Ft. Bragg Role
b. For sustained support after the initial assault, the JTF utilized the Mobile Integrated Tactical
Terminal (MITT). The MITT is a multi-intelligence TENCAP processor mounted on a HMMWV.
This became the forward terminus of TENCAP data relayed from the heavy processors at the Ft.
Bragg sanctuary. To augment the flow of SID from Ft. Bragg, ASPO deployed a prototype S-band
full duplex man portable SATCOM system named Chariot. The Chariot became the primary means
to transmit DIS to the JTF from the Ft. Bragg TENCAP Sanctuary with a 32 Kbs receive and a
9.6 Kbs transmit.