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4 May 1997
Source: Printed publication, 161 pp.

The document is divided into this introductory section, five chapters and glossary, as listed in the Contents. The complete document may be downloaded as a single file (text 429K, with 12 figures 339K), exclusive of hyperlinked photographs.

AU (3K)

Space Handbook

A War Fighter's Guide to Space

Volume One


Prepared by

Maj Michael J. Muolo
Air University Air Command and Staff College

Compiled by

Maj Richard A. Hand

Edited by

Maj Richard A. Hand
Maj Bonnie Houchen
Maj Lou Larson


Air University Press
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama 36112-6428

December 1993


This publication was produced in the Department of Defense school environment in the interest of academic freedom and the advancement of national defense-related concepts. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of Defense or the United States government.

This publication has been reviewed by security and policy review authorities and is cleared for public release.

To the Reader

As with any published work, the material immediately dates itself, thus at times becoming less relevant. These two volumes have been written with the expressed intent of remaining valid for as many years as possible--with the hope of imparting an educational framework to build upon rather than current and specific facts that often change quickly. We hope the reader will learn principles and be stimulated in thought, rather than struggle with errata induced by rapid change.

Submit changes to:
Maj Michael J. Muolo
Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6426

"The space support for Desert Storm [and] Desert Shield will probably be the minimum support expected in any future crisis."

Vice Adm W. A. Dougherty, USN
Deputy Commander, US Space Command
15-21 April 1991
Space News

"The Gulf War 'was the first space war . . . it was the first war of the space age.' "

Gen Merrill A. McPeak
Air Force Chief of Staff
8 April 1991
Aviation Week & Space Technology

"Our technology superiority, particularly in space, was essential to our ability to prosecute the war quickly, safely and successfully."

Donald Atwood
Department of Defense Deputy Secretary
22 April 1991
Military Space

"This was the first war in which space played a central part, and DSP was a very important part of it."

Henry Cooper
Director of US Strategic Defense Initiative Organization
1-7 April 1991
Space News

"Space systems have become an integral part of all battle resources."

Lt Gen James S. Cassity, Jr., USAF
Director of Command, Control, and Communications for the Joint Chiefs of Staff
1-7 April 1991
Space News

"Imaging and SIGINT satellites played a very major role in the success of the air war and as a result, the success of the ground war, just in terms of providing a comprehensive target list, target base, for planning the air war, [and] allowing the assessment of damage."

Jeffrey T. Richelson
National Security Archive
Washington D.C.
4 March 1991
Aerospace Daily








Truman Years: 1945-1952

Eisenhower Years: 1953-1960

International Geophysical Year
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Missile Gap
Military Space Systems
Communication and Navigation
Antiballistic Missiles
Missile Warning and Space Surveillance
North American Aerospace Defense Command and the Missile Warning Network

Kennedy and Johnson Years: 1961-1968

Military Space Systems
Military Satellites
Antiballistic Missiles
Fractional Orbit Bombardment System

Missile Warning and Space Surveillance Network
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Nixon and Ford Years: 1969-1976

Soviet Threat
Antiballistic Missiles
Military Space Systems
Missile Warning and Space Surveillance Network

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Apollo X
Apollo/Soyuz Test Program

Carter Years: 1977-1980

Military Space Systems
Antisatellite Weapons
Satellite Survivability
Directed Energy Weapons
Missile Warning and the Space Surveillance Network

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Reagan Years: 1981-1988

Arms Negotiations
Strategic Defense Initiative and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty

Military Space Systems

Missile Warning and Spacetrack Network

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Shuttle Program

Bush Years: 1989-1992



International Space Law

Domestic Space Law

National Space Policy

Early Policy
Intervening Years
Carter Administration Space Policy
Reagan Administration Space Policy
Bush Administration Space Policy
Department of Defense Space Policy
Air Force Space Policy

Space Doctrine

Joint Space Doctrine
Air Force Space Doctrine



Force Support--Air Force Satellite Control Network
Dedicated and Common-User Elements
Types of Satellite Support
Satellite Operations Centers
Space Vehicle Support--Pass/Contact Description
Remote Tracking Stations
Remote Tracking Station Communications
Remote Tracking Station--Mission Unique Interfaces

Command Centers
Network Control System
Communications System--Major Components
Additional Systems

Force Enhancement

Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Defense Support Program

Navigation Systems
Communications Systems

Defense Satellite Communications System
Fleet Satellite Communications System


Aerospace Control

Space Surveillance
Space Surveillance Network
Dedicated Sensors
Collateral Sensors
Contributing Sensors


Force Applications

Global Protection against Limited Strikes
Accidental and Unauthorized Strikes
Elements of Global Protection against Limited Strikes

Global Protection against Limited Strikes Architecture

Brilliant Pebbles
US Ground-Based Defense

Follow-on Systems



The Launch Centers
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Current Launch Vehicles

Space Transportation System

The Launch Process



Space Force Support

Space Force Enhancement

Evolving Systems

Space-Based Wide Area Surveillance
Multispectral Imagery
Ultra High Frequency Follow-On
Tactical Satellites
National Launch System
National Aerospace Plane
Single Stage to Orbit
Global Protection against Limited Strikes



Classified Annexes (under separate cover)

[Not here]


A Space Support to Desert Storm (U)

B Passive Surveillance System (U)

C Defense Support Program and Follow-on Early Warning System (U)


[Figures and tables are with text; photographs are separate hyperlinked files]


1 Satellite Support Functional Flow
2 Remote Tracking Station Locations
3 Current Third Country Ballistic Missile Capability
4 GPALS Integrated System and Key Elements
5 GPALS Architecture: Space-Based Protection against
    Ballistic Missiles with a Range Greater than 600 Kilometers
6 GPALS Architecture: Ground-Based Protection against Strategic Ballistic Missiles
7 GPALS Architecture: Protection against SLBMs
8 Complete GPALS Architecture
9 Launch Base Processing Flow
10 Typical Delta II Mission Profile
11 National Launch System Vehicle Specifications
12 Single Stage to Orbit


1 International Agreements that Limit Military Activities in Space
2 Launch Capability in California
3 Launch Capability in Florida


Echo Balloon
Mercury Capsule (Artist's Conception)
Mercury Capsule Dimensions
MR-3 Lift-off
Mercury-Atlas 9
Gemini IX Lift-off
GT-3 Lift-off
Saturn S-IVB Engine
Apollo 15 Rollout
Apollo/Soyuz Test Project Spacecraft
Voyager Spacecraft
Landsat C
Landsat D
Global Positioning System Satellite
Defense Satellite Communications System III Satellite
Fleet Satellite Communications System Satellite
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Satellite
Delta II
Titan II
Titan IV
Space Transportation System
Space-Based Wide Area Surveillance Satellite
National Aerospace Plane


For over 30 years, space has been integral to the security of the United States and its allies. Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice said, "Space forces are a central element of our global reach, the principal attribute of the Air Force' s aerospace operations of the future."

Recent conflicts have underscored the role space now plays in our combat capability. Our navigation satellites provide instant pinpoint positioning and targeting information to aircraft, ground forces, ships, and command centers. Communications satellites provide global connectivity between all levels of our national security infrastructure. Weather satellites report meteorological data in near real time directly to forces in the theater. Early warning satellites, which detect and report ballistic missile launches, serve strategic objectives as well as tactical purposes. These and other space systems will continue to be essential to the success of future military operations. Whenever and wherever American men and women fight, space will forevermore be critical to their success.

Air Force policy states, "Spacepower will assume as decisive a role in future combat operations as airpower has today." As we move toward this goal, educating our future leadership becomes even more critical. Air Force Space Command has collaborated with Air University to produce this new edition of the Space Handbook. It is an excellent two volume instructional and reference manual. Volume 1 discusses space system organizations, roles and missions, policy, and space applications. Volume 2 provides an introduction to the physical laws and principles of space.

This handbook will provide new students of space a sound basis from which to grow and will stimulate experienced professionals. It is your guide to space and your invitation to all the excitement and opportunity therein.


Lieutenant General, USAF
Commander, Air University


One of the primary efforts of all space advocates is to integrate, fully and effectively, the tremendous force enhancement capabilities of space-related assets into our national war-fighting capabilities. Lt Gen Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., states that Air Force Space Command's focus should relate to learning what the war-fighting commands need in the way of space systems. Part and parcel of this job is to demystify space and develop new applications for our space products.

Recent military operations have shown that the immense tactical application possibilities of current space systems are underused. The reason is that the war fighters are not familiar with space assets or capabilities and therefore do not have the tools or training to use them. The primary focus of this volume is to educate and begin to convince war fighters that space systems can do so much more for them than simply let them watch the fight. If the vast potential of space systems is fully understood and effectively applied, space can have a tremendous impact on mission planning and execution, saving friendly lives and increasing weapon effectiveness.


Support from space assets has been successful in several recent operations. For example: Desert One (Iran), Urgent Fury (Grenada), El Dorado Canyon (Libya), and Just Cause (Panama). Prior to the massive effort to integrate space into the Desert Storm theater, most efforts using space had limited success and focused mostly on communications and intelligence. Primarily, this focus was due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of space systems capabilities within the war-fighting community. Most requests were ad hoc reactions and piecemeal efforts, not fully coordinated between users and providers of space systems.

Classified Annex A to this handbook covers in-depth space support to Operation Desert Storm. Even though Desert Storm was tremendously successful, it showed the need for better space understanding and applications. Gen Norman Schwarzkopf echoed this idea when he briefed Congress on problems with battle damage assessment and intelligence dissemination. Better space applications can greatly improve these areas as well as other missions.


We have not fully exploited the expansive potential of space systems. We have extremely sophisticated and capable space systems that have the advantages of high volume collection and relay of global data in real time or near real time. These advantages allow our forces to see, measure, and proactively respond to a threat. However, among other problems, the users have prototype equipment operated by untrained personnel which results in a trickle of noncurrent information to the unit and aircrew level. Also, there is the continuing problem of overclassifying the output and products of some space systems. Space asset owners and operators must capitalize on the enormous amount of money already spent on space systems and maximize their capabilities in supporting combat execution.

Desert Storm featured a great improvement in space system utility, giving us a new baseline from which to grow. According to Lt Gen Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., "We proved our worth in the Persian Gulf, and in the future we will prove our worth as we continue to enhance combat effectiveness with space systems." Space provided critical support to all the services in navigation, communications, weather, and intelligence. In an encouraging article from Air Force Magazine, James Canan writes, "In military circles, space is losing its high-flown, R&D aura and is taking on a down-to-earth, operational look. Warfighting commanders are fast becoming sold on space systems." The information that space systems provide to tactical forces is extremely well received and changes the way we plan a lot of missions. We are making a difference! This difference is an example of what needs to happen, but we must also improve our education process.

Increasing the War Fighter's Comfort
Index for Space Systems

According to Lt Gen Thomas S. Moorman, "Our goal [as space advocates] is to create a climate where the flying commands are comfortable with space, and think of space solutions to their operational problems." The space community needs to sell the utility and value of space to the war fighters and thereby increase their comfort index on space. Lt Col Randy Peixotto, Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) states, "AFSOC forces use space capabilities on a daily basis and on every operational mission, but like most organizations, we do not normally recognize the extent to which we are dependent on satellites." War-fighting commands have to become familiar with what is available and practice using it. We need to ensure they have continuous hands-on access to hardware even during peacetime. The phrase "train as we fight" applies here and lies at the heart of the Space Handbook. This text is a training tool or a stepping stone for the uninitiated and is for use by neophytes who need to be aware of the capabilities and potential of space. We must educate our leaders and war fighters on space, and the Handbook is a means to help.

The bottom line is that Air Force Space Command and the Space Handbook focus on space as a force enhancer to war-fighting operations. The objective is to provide better understanding which will capitalize on the billions of dollars invested in space systems to allow us to execute combat operations more effectively.


As with most work, many people are responsible for this project's success. There are many to thank--some for considerable help and a few for their superlative efforts--without whom I could not have completed this project! There are so many to acknowledge that I can list only their names. I hope they will forgive this brevity. They know what they have accomplished, how helpful they have been, and that I am truly grateful !

The following individuals made most meaningful contributions in many areas, including helping to: organize, provide information, consult, support, coordinate, edit, advise, approve, assist, empathize, suggest, and more.

   Col Jack Harris        Col Sandy Mangold       Col Rod Payne 
   Dr "Buck" Grinter      Ms Emily Adams          Capt Robert Freeman 
   Maj Ted Burgner        Capt Jim Wolf           Mr John Jordan 
   Maj Joe Squatrito      Maj Dale Madison        Maj Ron Del Gizzi 
   TSgt Dennis Sanchez    Maj Jerry Rand          Maj Dwight Rauhala 
   Lt Col Ken Henry       Maj Laurie Reh          Maj Jeff Walters 
   Maj Robin Squatrito    Maj Daryl Tomczyk 

There were three standouts in terms of support on this effort. These three individuals kept pushing me onward and upward towards what I hope and believe is a useful document. These individuals helped in such areas as typing, coordinating, editing, correcting, cheerleading, admonishing, encouraging, consulting, listening, and advocating. My deepest and sincerest thanks go to my wife Shirley Hand and to my friends and coworkers Andrea Pollitt and Bonnie Houchen! I am forever indebted to you.

To any whom I may have omitted, my apologies, but thank you nonetheless.

To Chapter 1

Thanks to the author and AU Press.

Transcription and hypertext by JYA/Urban Deadline.