Northrop Grumman has shipped a full-size model of a Defense Support Program satellite to the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, in Dayton, Ohio, for display there. “We are honored the Air Force has accepted our model to celebrate the 40-year history of DSP’s robust performance as one of the nation’s vital missile early warning systems,” said David DiCarlo, Northrop’s general manager for space systems, in the company’s release. The 35-foot-long replica is the only true-to-size model of a DSP spacecraft. Northrop created it to celebrate the satellite’s decades of service. A C-5 transport carried it from southern California to Wright-Patterson in July. The Air Force placed the first DSP satellite in space in 1970; the final one assumed orbit in 2007. Space Based Infrared System satellites will supplant the DSP constellation starting in 2011.
Supply chain and vanishing vendor issues make supporting old nuclear systems increasingly difficult, Global Strike Command’s logistics and engineering chief Brig. Gen. Kenyon K. Bell said. Additive printing will be a big help but can be hampered by bureaucracy.