Location: Houston, Texas.
ARPA requested a joint Army-Air Force development plan for a 24-hour, synchronous equatorial orbit communications satellite. The Army Signal Corps was to be responsible for the ground and satellite communications while the Air Force (AFBMD) was to handle satellite spacecraft, booster, and launch services. The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) made the Army Signal Research and Development Laboratory (ASRDL) and the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) responsible for milcomsats. This covered communications and vehicular aspects of the first U.S. military communications satellite program. Booster and spacecraft development were assigned to AFBMD.
At last realizing the importance of the ground-to-aircraft communications requirements for control of the SAC bomber force, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) initiated Project Steer. The defense communication satellite effort now had three distinct elements - Steer; Tackle, for an advanced polar communication satellite; and Decree for a 24-hour synchronous communication satellite to be put in orbit by the as yet undeveloped Atlas-Centaur. Priority was assigned to Project Steer, and project supervision was given to AFBMD. However, ARPA retained control and did not delegate authority and responsibility for systems integration.
Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) issued an interim directive cancelling the three-phase development program for a military communication satellite system. Pending a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and OSD review, Projects Steer, Tackle, and Decree were replaced by a single synchronous communications satellite system subsequently designated Project Advent. AFBMD was directed to conduct a single integrated research and development program for a 24-hour synchronous equatorial global communication satellite system. The Army was to develop the communications equipment while AFBMD handled the booster and spacecraft.
The Department of Defense announced the reassignment of responsibility for the Defense Department Communication Satellite program (Advent). The Air Force was now given responsibility for the development, production, and launch of all space devices, in line with the policy on military space systems originally delineated on 6 March 1961. The Army retained responsibility for the ground system. The Defense Communications Agency (DCA) assumed overall responsibility for integration.
Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara announced that negotiations with the Communications Satellite Corporation for a defense communications network were terminated, and he directed the Defense Department to proceed with the full development of a military satellite communications system to be built by Philco-Ford. This was the Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP).