Military and Civilian Satellites in Support of Allied Forces in the Persian Gulf War [February 27, 1991]   [open pdf - 722KB]

From the Summary: "The Persian Gulf War is the first large scale U.S. military action for which a large array of satellite systems is available for supporting military operations. From communications to navigation to intelligence gathering, apace assets have proved invaluable. The Department of Defense (DOD) has conducted its own space program since the Space Age began, but its activities are less well known that [sic] those of the civilian National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since FY 1982, however, DOD's space budget has been larger than NASA's. In FY 1991, for example, the estimated DOD space budget is $18 billion compared to $13.9 billion for NASA. Most of this funding is for the development, procurement, launch, and operation of satellites for communications, navigation, weather forecasting, intelligence gathering, and early warning of missile launches (a comparatively small amount is for space weapons). There is now some debate in Congress over DOD's request to build advanced systems for some of these functions (such as the MILSTAR [Military Strategic and Tactical Relay] communications satellite program), but this paper addresses only existing space assets. DOD's space operations are the responsibility of U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) in Colorado Springs, Colorado; each Service has a component command. […] The Soviet Union launches a wide array of satellites, but since it did not participate in the military effort in the Persian Gulf, the only discussion of Soviet space systems in this report concerns commercially available remote sensing imagery. All the information contained in this report is from open sources."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, 91-215
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