DSP Satellite Now on Display

The only full-size model of a Defense Support Program early warning satellite is now in place in the National Museum of the US Air Force on the grounds of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, near Dayton. Northrop Grumman donated the model, which resides in the museum’s missile and space gallery, to celebrate the 40-year history of the DSP constellation. These satellites have been in place since 1970 to warn of ballistic missile launches and above-the-ground nuclear detonations around the world. The 23rd and final DSP spacecraft went into space in December 2007. The 35-foot-long museum model is a structural test vehicle that was used to verify that all the satellite’s components fit together correctly. Beginning next year, Space Based Infrared System satellites will replace DSP spacecraft. (Dayton report by Rob Bardua)