Northrop Grumman satellites launched to support ULA surveillance missionNews
January 24, 2022
FALLS CHURCH, Va. Two Northrop Grumman Corporation Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites were launched into orbit on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as part of the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-8 mission.
According to the company, the two satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, are designed to enhance space situational awareness. In addition to manufacturing and delivering both GSSAP payloads, Northrop Grumman also provided the sole strap-on solid rocket booster intended to add propulsion to the rocket launch, as well as aeronautical components in support of the USSF-8 launch.
Officials claim that the GSSAP program aims to deliver a space-based capability operating in a near-geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), in support of the U.S. Space Command space surveillance operations. GSSAP satellites are engineered to allow for more accurate tracking and characterization of orbiting objects and contribute to orbital predictions.
Additionally, the company claims that this was the third ULA Atlas V rocket launch supported by Northrop Grumman’s 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63). The GEM 63 solid rocket booster provided nearly a third of the total thrust at liftoff.