IDCSP

Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program
(IDCSP) series and
Defense Satellite Communications System
(DSCS) series

DSCS-2
IDCSPDSCS-2

This page contains philatelic information on the US Air Force (USAF) Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) and Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) series. Catalog numbers, years of issue, and notes on the satellites featured are given when available. If readers know of additional information or images, please contact the authors using the e-mail addresses at the bottom of this page.

IDCSP or DSCS-1 were also known as NATO-1 series satellites.

Launch information
(found elsewhere)
Launch covers
(including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers)
(farther below)
Other postal items
(stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.)
(immediately below)
IDCSP
(USAF)
IDCSP
(USAF)
ICDSP
(USAF)
IDCSP (on other than IDCSP launch covers)
DSCS
(USAF)
DSCS
(USAF)
DSCS
(USAF)
DSCS (on other than DSCS launch covers)


Below is a list of IDCSP and DSCS-series postal items (stamps, souvenir sheets, aerogrammes, postal cards, etc.).

CountryCatalog NumberType of ItemYear of IssueNotes on Content
Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) (USAF)
No (non-launch cover) postal items found
Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) (USAF)
Finland1478c (Mi2337)From booklet pane of 6 on page2 (1478) (Mi MH(2335-2340)-Blatt), with detail; also booklet front, booklet back, booklet inside page1, and booklet inside showing stamp shapes1975DSCS-3
Finland1478 fdcBooklet pane of 6 on FDC, also back


Below is a list of IDCSP and DSCS-series launch covers (including anniversary-of-launch covers, and launch-related event covers).

CountryCancel DateCancel LocationType of ItemNotes on Content
Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) (USAF)
1966-06-16: IDCSP-1/71 (and GGTS-1)
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Astro Covers, no logo) cachet (different) on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Centennial) cachet (and rubber-stamp note) on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Centennial) cachet (and typed note) on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Patrick AFB, FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Kennedy Space Center FL(Artopages) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Kennedy Space Center FL(Artopages) cachet (different) on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Swanson purple and black rubber-stamp) cachet on (airmail) coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers, no logo) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(HJM black and black typed) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
United States1966-06-16Cape Canaveral FL(Purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-1/7 launch
1966-08-26: IDCSP-8/14 (and GGTS-2) [failed]
United States1966-08-26Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/14 launch [failed]
United States1966-08-26Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/14 launch [failed]
United States1966-08-26Cape Canaveral FL(Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/14 launch [failed]
United States1966-08-26Cape Canaveral FL(HJM blue and Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachets on coverIDCSP-8/14 launch [failed]
United States1966-08-26Cape Canaveral FL(Magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/14 launch [failed]
1967-01-18: IDCSP-8/15
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Patrick AFB, FL(Sarzin?) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(Swanson/DuBeau? purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Kennedy Space Center FL(Swanson/DuBeau? blue rubber-stamp) cachet (different design) on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(HJM blue and Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachets on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
United States1967-01-18Cape Canaveral FL(Multi-color printed) cachet on coverIDCSP-8/15 launch
1967-07-01: IDCSP-16/19 (and DODGE and LES-5)
United States1967-07-01Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-16/19 launch
United States1967-07-01Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-16/19 launch
United States1967-07-01Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial orange rocket, type-1) cachet on coverIDCSP-16/19 launch (Pioneer-3/4 type, Pioneer-5/Explorer-62, and Vanguard-2 depicted)
United States1967-07-01Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson purple rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-16/19 launch
United States1967-07-01Cape Canaveral FL(C. Swanson purple and red rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-16/19 launch
United States1967-07-01Kennedy Space Center FL(Black typed) cachet on coverIDCSP-16/19 launch
Austria1967-07-03Krieglach(typed) cachet on coverIDCSP-16/19 launch
1968-06-13: IDCSP-20/27
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-20/27 launch ("secret messages and reconnaissance photographs")
United States1968-06-13Patrick AFB, FL(SpaceCraft/Swanson) cachet on cover, also insertIDCSP-20/27 launch ("secret messages and reconnaissance photographs")
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Orbit Covers, no logo) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Orbit Covers, no logo) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Centennial) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney blue and magenta) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL(Swanson/DuBeau? magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Kennedy Space Center FL(R. DuBeau black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch
United States1968-06-13Cape Canaveral FL(Black and red typed) cachet on coverIDCSP-20/27 launch ("secret messages and photographs")
IDCSP (on other than IDCSP launch covers)
United States1969-02-09Cape Canaveral FL (machine canceL)(Orbit Covers) cachet on Tacomsat-1 launch cover"Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (ICSDP)"
United States1969-02-09Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Orbit Covers) cachet on Tacomsat-1 launch cover
Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) (USAF)
1971-11-03: DSCS-2-1/2
United States1971-11-02Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on cover, also insertDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-02Kennedy Space Center FL(Exquisite green and magenta rubber-stamp) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-02Patrick AFB, FL(Whitney magenta and blue and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney magenta and blue and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on cover, also insertDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Riser/Andromeda/Cygnus Cover no.9) cachet on cover, also insertDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Riser/Andromeda/Cygnus Cover no.9) cachet on (airmail) cover, also insertDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Kennedy Space Center FL(Centennial) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Kennedy Space Center FL(Centennial and black rubber-stamp) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial blue) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Grey printed) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
United States1971-11-03Cape Canaveral FL(Sarzin) cachet on coverDSCS-2-1/2 launch
1973-12-13: DSCS-2-3/4
United States1973-12-13Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-3/4 launch
United States1973-12-13Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverDSCS-2-3/4 launch
United States1973-12-13Patrick AFB, FL(Whitney magenta and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-3/4 launch
United States1973-12-14Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney magenta and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-3/4 launch
United States1973-12-14Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial-like) cachet on coverDSCS-2-3/4 launch
1975-05-20: DSCS-2-5/6
United States1975-05-20Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS ser.75/5 no.236) cachet on cover, also backDSCS-2-5/6 launch ("project 777")
United States1975-05-20Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS ser.75/5 no.79) cachet (and signature) on cover, also backDSCS-2-5/6 launch ("project 777")
United States1975-05-20Cape Canaveral FL(Green printed) cachet on coverDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Kennedy Space Center FL(Centennial) cachet on coverDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney blue and magenta) cachet on cover, also backDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Patrick AFB, FL (machine cancel)(Whitney blue and magenta) cachet on cover, also backDSCS-2-5/6 launch
United States1975-05-20Patrick AFB, FL (hand cancel)
Postal Service FL (machine cancel)
(Whitney blue and red) cachet on cover, also backDSCS-2-5/6 launch
1977-05-12: DSCS-2-7/8
United States1977-05-12Cape Canaveral FL(Orbit Covers) cachet on coverDSCS-2-7/8 launch ("secret satellite")
United States1977-05-12Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS) cachet on coverDSCS-2-7/8 launch ("program [project] 777")
United States1977-05-12Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Vandy?/DuBeau? cyan rubber-stamp) cachet on coverDSCS-2-7/8 launch (Westar-1/2/3 type depicted) (project "777")
United States1977-05-12Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverDSCS-2-7/8 launch
United States1977-05-12Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-7/8 launch
1978-03-25: DSCS-2-9/10 [failed]
United States1978-03-25Patrick AFB, FL(Whitney purple and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-9/10 launch [failed]
United States1978-03-25Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverDSCS-2-9/10 launch [failed]
United States1978-03-27Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-9/10 launch [failed]
1978-12-13: DSCS-2-11/12
United States1978-12-13Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS) cachet on coverDSCS-2-11/12 launch (project "triple 7" (777))
United States1978-12-13Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS) cachet (and signature) on coverDSCS-2-11/12 launch (project "triple 7" (777))
United States1978-12-13Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-11/12 launch
1979-11-21: DSCS-2-13/14
United States1979-11-20Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on coverDSCS-2-13/14 launch
United States1979-11-20Kennedy Space Center FL(SCPS ser.79/18) cachet (and signature) on cover, also backDSCS-2-13/14 launch
United States1979-11-20Cape Canaveral FL (hand cancel)(Whitney orange and black) cachet on coverDSCS-2-13/14 launch
United States1979-11-20Cape Canaveral FL (machine cancel)(Whitney orange and black) cachet on (airmail) coverDSCS-2-13/14 launch
1985-10-03: DSCS-3-B4/B5 (from STS-28 (51J))
United States1985-08-30Cape Canaveral FL(Centennial) cachet on coverSTS-51J rollout ("secret military mission")
United States1985-09-12Kennedy Space Center FL(Centennial) cachet on coverSTS-51J flight readiness test ("secret military mission")
United States1985-10-03Kennedy Space Center FL(RSDSC) cachet on cover, also insert and insert backSTS-51J launch
United States1985-10-03Kennedy Space Center FL(Zaso silk/IASP no.114) cachet on coverSTS-51J launch ("secret satellites" and "secret cargo")
United States1985-10-03Kennedy Space Center FL(Zaso silk/IASP no.115) cachet on coverSTS-51J launch ("secret" and "secret satellite")
United States1985-10-03Cape Canaveral FL(Whitney magenta and blue) cachet (and signatures) on coverSTS-51J launch
United States1985-10-03Kennedy Space Center FL(Colorano silk) cachet on coverSTS-51J launch ("secrecy")
United States1985-10-04Cape Canaveral FL(Colorano silk) cachet on coverDSCS-3-B4/B5 deployed
1989-09-05: DSCS-2-15 and DSCS-3-A2
United States1989-09-05Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Boudwin magenta and grey rubber-stamp, based on a Swanson design, and black rubber-stamp text) cachet on (airmail) coverDSCS-2-15 and DSCS-3-A2 launch ("top secret" and "nicknamed White cloud"); ("cluster of four satellites" is unclear!)
1992-02-11: DSCS-3-B14
United States1992-02-10Cape Canaveral FL(Red-brown printed) cachet on coverDSCS-3-B14 launch
DSCS (on other than DSCS launch covers)
United States1971-03-20Lompoc CA, Vandenberg AFB(Space Voyage) insert from Jumpseat-1 launch cover, also front"DSCS (Defense Satellite Communications System)"
United States1975-06-21Cape Canaveral FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on OSO-8 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1975-08-20Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on Viking-1 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1975-09-25Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on Intelsat-4A-1 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1975-10-16Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on GOES-1 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1975-12-12Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on Satcom-1 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1975-12-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on DSP-5 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1976-01-15Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on Helios-2 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1976-01-19Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on CTS launch coverDSCS-2
United States1976-02-19Kennedy Space Center FL(Blue and red rubber-stamp) cachet on Marisat-1 launch coverDSCS-2
United States1976-04-22Kennedy Space Center FL(Space Voyage) cachet on NATO-3A launch cover"interoperable with US Defense Satellite communications" (DSCS)
United States1976-04-22Cape Canaveral FL(Space Voyage) cachet on NATO-3A launch cover

1IDCSP-1/7 newspaper article1, newspaper article2, and newspaper article3
2Explorer-6 and Pioneer-5 were similar "paddlewheel" satellites. It is believed that Explorer-6 contained two short antennas on its "top", whereas Pioneer-5 contained only a single short antenna. When there are no antennas on top, the distinction is unclear, but of the two, Pioneer-5 is assumed.


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Updated: 2020-09-17