U.S. Military Space: Status of Selected Programs [Updated June 4, 2007]   [open pdf - 95KB]

"The 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act specified that military space activities be conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD). DOD and the intelligence community manage a broad array of space activities, including launch vehicle development, communications satellites, navigation satellites (the Global Positioning System - GPS), early warning satellites to alert the United States to foreign missile launches, weather satellites, reconnaissance satellites, and developing capabilities to protect U.S. satellite systems and to deny the use of space to adversaries (called 'space control' or 'counterspace systems'). The 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War is dubbed by some as the first 'space war' because support from space displayed great improvement over what was available during the previous major conflict, Vietnam. These systems continue to play significant roles in U.S. military operations. How to organize DOD and the intelligence community to work effectively on space programs has been an issue for many years. Tracking the DOD space budget is extremely difficult since space is not identified as a separate line item in the DOD budget. Additionally, DOD sometimes releases only partial information (omitting funding for classified programs) or will suddenly release without explanation new figures for prior years that are quite different from what was previously reported."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33601
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