Encyclopedia Astronautica
DSCS II



dscs2.jpg
DSCS-2
Credit: USAF
American military communications satellite. 15 launches, 1971.11.03 (DSCS II-01) to 1982.10.30 (DSCS II-15). DSCS provided secure voice and data communications for the US military.

The DSCS system originated in the DoD's Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program, which was inaugurated in 1966. After launching 26 of these spacecraft, the Air Force renamed the program and in 1971 launched the first of 16 DSCS Block II satellites.

The contract was managed by the DCA (Defense Communications Agency) for the USAF. The spacecraft was spin stabilized with a despun antenna platform. Body mounted solar cells produced 535 watts. Three NiCd batteries provided 36 AHr total. A hydrazine propulsion system was used. The payload consisted of two 20 watt X-Band transponders with 500 MHz bandwidths. Steerable narrow beam antennas and drive mechanisms provided a measure of communications privacy. Capacity was 1300 voice channels or 100 Mbps of data. The system was compatible with ground-portable units.

AKA: Defense Satellite Communications System.
Gross mass: 562 kg (1,238 lb).
Height: 4.00 m (13.10 ft).
First Launch: 1971.11.03.
Last Launch: 1982.10.30.
Number: 15 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Titan 3C American orbital launch vehicle. Titan 3A with five segment solid motors. Man-rated design originally developed for Dynasoar spaceplane. More...
  • Titan 34D American orbital launch vehicle. Stretched Titan core designed for use with 5 1/2 segment solid rocket motors. IUS (Interim/Inertial Upper Stage) solid upper stages, Transtage, or used without upper stages. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • TRW American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. TRW Corporation, Redondo Beach, CA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Bramscher, Robert G, "A Survey of Launch Vehicle Failures", Spaceflight, 1980, Volume 22, page 351.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC40 Titan launch complex. Constructed as part of the Titan Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV vehicles. More...

DSCS II Chronology


1971 November 3 - . 03:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-3 (3C-21).
  • DSCS II-01 - . Payload: DSCS II F-1 / OPS 9431. Mass: 520 kg (1,140 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1979-05-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 5587 . COSPAR: 1971-095A. Apogee: 35,815 km (22,254 mi). Perigee: 35,765 km (22,223 mi). Inclination: 13.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.30 min. Defense Satellite Communications System. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 106 deg W in 1972-?; over the Americas at 81 deg W in 1977-1979; over the Americas at 100-110 deg W in drift 1979-1998 As of 1 September 2001 located at 103.05 deg W drifting at 0.044 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 110.10W drifting at 0.035W degrees per day.
  • DSCS II-02 - . Payload: DSCS II F-2 / OPS 9432. Mass: 520 kg (1,140 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1972-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 5588 . COSPAR: 1971-095B. Apogee: 35,824 km (22,259 mi). Perigee: 35,819 km (22,256 mi). Inclination: 13.6000 deg. Period: 1,437.90 min. Defense Satellite Communications System. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Americas at 112 deg W in 1972. As of 30 August 2001 located at 146.34 deg E drifting at 0.101 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 5 located at 36.33W drifting at 0.201E degrees per day.

1973 December 13 - . 23:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-8 (3C-26).
  • DSCS II-03 - . Payload: DSCS II F-3 / OPS 9433. Mass: 566 kg (1,247 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1982-08-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 6973 . COSPAR: 1973-100A. Apogee: 36,661 km (22,780 mi). Perigee: 36,413 km (22,625 mi). Inclination: 13.9000 deg. Period: 1,474.60 min. Defense Satellite Communications System; 13 deg W. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 13 deg W in 1974-1977; over the Atlantic Ocean 57-66 deg W in 1977-1979 As of 3 September 2001 located at 104.01 deg E drifting at 9.429 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 148.24W drifting at 9.427W degrees per day.
  • DSCS II-04 - . Payload: DSCS II F-4 / OPS 9434. Mass: 566 kg (1,247 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1993-12-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 6974 . COSPAR: 1973-100B. Apogee: 36,837 km (22,889 mi). Perigee: 36,300 km (22,500 mi). Inclination: 13.5000 deg. Period: 1,476.30 min. Defense Satellite Communications System; 175 deg E. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 175 deg E in 1974-1977; over the Indian Ocean 65 deg E in 1977-1980; over the Indian Ocean 60-61 deg E in 1980-1984; over the Indian Ocean 66 deg E in 1984-1987; over the Americas at 56-62 deg W in 1989-1993 As of 5 September 2001 located at 138.02 deg W drifting at 9.919 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 3 located at 146.85E drifting at 9.914W degrees per day.

1975 May 20 - . 14:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-7 (3C-25). FAILURE: Transtage gyro platform lost power; attitude control lost; orbit too low.. Failed Stage: G.
  • DSCS II-05 - . Payload: DSCS II F-5 / OPS 9435. Mass: 566 kg (1,247 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Decay Date: 1975-05-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 7807 . COSPAR: 1975-040A. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 28.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Summary: Unusable orbit. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • DSCS II-06 - . Payload: DSCS II F-6 / OPS 9436. Mass: 566 kg (1,247 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Decay Date: 1975-05-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 7808 . COSPAR: 1975-040B. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 28.6000 deg. Period: 88.60 min. Summary: Unusable orbit. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1977 May 12 - . 14:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-14 (3C-32).
  • DSCS II-07 - . Payload: DSCS II F-7 / OPS 9437. Mass: 565 kg (1,245 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1981-12-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 10000 . COSPAR: 1977-034A. Apogee: 36,894 km (22,924 mi). Perigee: 36,759 km (22,840 mi). Inclination: 15.8000 deg. Period: 1,489.60 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Atlantic Ocean at 12 deg W in 1977-1979; over the Atlantic Ocean 5 deg W in 1979; over the Pacific Ocean 140 deg E in 1980-1981 As of 28 August 2001 located at 152.07 deg W drifting at 12.959 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 47.37W drifting at 12.959W degrees per day.
  • DSCS II-08 - . Payload: DSCS II F-8 / OPS 9438. Mass: 565 kg (1,245 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1990-02-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 10001 . COSPAR: 1977-034B. Apogee: 37,343 km (23,203 mi). Perigee: 37,061 km (23,028 mi). Inclination: 15.5000 deg. Period: 1,509.00 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 175 deg E in 1977-1979 over the Atlantic Ocean 12 deg W in 1979-80 over the Pacific Ocean 175 deg E in 1980-1983 over the Pacific Ocean180 deg E in 1983-1986 over the Atlantic Ocean 1 deg W in 1986-1989 As of 3 September 2001 located at 143.55 deg W drifting at 17.451 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 13.13E drifting at 17.445W degrees per day.

1978 March 25 - . 18:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-17 (3C-35). FAILURE: Second stage hydraulic pump failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • DSCS II-09 - . Payload: DSCS II F-9. Mass: 550 kg (1,210 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Decay Date: 1978-03-25 . COSPAR: F780325A. Summary: Launched with DSCS F10..
  • DSCS II F-10 - . Payload: DSCS II F-10. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Program: DSCS. Spacecraft: DSCS II. COSPAR: F780325B.

1978 December 14 - . 00:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-18 (3C-36).
  • DSCS II-11 - . Payload: DSCS II F-11 / OPS 9441. Mass: 550 kg (1,210 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1993-12-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 11144 . COSPAR: 1978-113A. Apogee: 37,749 km (23,456 mi). Perigee: 37,515 km (23,310 mi). Inclination: 9.8000 deg. Period: 1,531.40 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 135 deg W in 1979-1983 over the Pacific Ocean 129 deg W in 1983-1989 As of 5 September 2001 located at 62.62 deg W drifting at 22.467 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 96.59E drifting at 22.469W degrees per day.
  • DSCS II-12 - . Payload: DSCS II F-12 / OPS 9442. Mass: 550 kg (1,210 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1993-12-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 11145 . COSPAR: 1978-113B. Apogee: 36,332 km (22,575 mi). Perigee: 36,283 km (22,545 mi). Inclination: 9.8000 deg. Period: 1,462.80 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Pacific Ocean at 175 deg E in 1979-1981 over the Indian Ocean 66 deg E in 1981-1983 over the Indian Ocean 60 deg E in 1983-1987 over the Pacific Ocean177 deg E in 1988-1989 over the Indian Ocean 71 deg E in 1990-1992 As of 1 September 2001 located at 93.28 deg E drifting at 6.600 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 8 located at 143.60E drifting at 6.589W degrees per day.

1979 November 21 - . 21:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 23C-19 (3C-37).
  • DSCS II-13 - . Payload: DSCS II F-13 / OPS 9443. Mass: 611 kg (1,347 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1994-07-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 11621 . COSPAR: 1979-098A. Apogee: 37,195 km (23,111 mi). Perigee: 37,104 km (23,055 mi). Inclination: 13.6000 deg. Period: 1,506.30 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 12 deg W in 1980-1981; 131 deg W in 1981-1983; 179 deg W in 1983; 175 deg E in 1983-1989;179 deg W in 1989-1993 As of 3 September 2001 located at 21.08 deg E drifting at 16.828 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 37.50W drifting at 16.828W degrees per day.
  • DSCS II-14 - . Payload: DSCS II F-14 / OPS 9444. Mass: 611 kg (1,347 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1995-06-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 11622 . COSPAR: 1979-098B. Apogee: 36,351 km (22,587 mi). Perigee: 36,316 km (22,565 mi). Inclination: 13.3000 deg. Period: 1,464.10 min. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 66 deg E in 1980-1981; 12 deg W in 1981-1986; 179 deg W in 1986-1990; 174 deg E in 1990; 65 deg E in 1991-1994 As of 31 August 2001 located at 27.01 deg W drifting at 6.916 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 50.79E drifting at 6.926W degrees per day.

1982 October 30 - . 04:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 34D/IUS. LV Configuration: Titan 34D/IUS 34D-1 (04D-5?).
  • DSCS II-15 - . Payload: DSCS II F-15. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DSCS. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: DSCS II. Completed Operations Date: 1997-05-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 13636 . COSPAR: 1982-106A. Apogee: 37,332 km (23,196 mi). Perigee: 37,277 km (23,162 mi). Inclination: 11.3000 deg. Period: 1,514.40 min. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 15 deg W in 1983-1987; 66 deg E in 1987; 60 deg E in 1987-1994; 65 deg E in 1994-1997 As of 5 September 2001 located at 114.00 deg W drifting at 18.661 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 172.94E drifting at 18.658W degrees per day. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C).

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