Developed in the 1960’s under complete secrecy to ensure U.S. reconnaissance satellites could take cloud-free pictures, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program remains a linchpin weather detection spacecraft managed by the Air Force Space Command, but operated by NOAA.


The Naval Space Surveillance assets were deployed along the southern region of the United States, coast to coast, around 1960 in response to the national security issue created by the Russian launch of Sputnik.  (image courtesy of NRL)


Stemming from MIDAS successes and carved out of the WS(weapon system)-117L program, the Defense Support Program (DSP), which was developed to provide early warning of enemy missile launches, lives on today as part of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) operated out of Buckley AFB in Denver, CO