KH-3 5 [USAF]
KH-3 6 [USAF]
The KH-3 (Keyhole-3) was third version in the Corona-program to build an optical reconnaissance satellite. These satellites were all launched under the name Discoverer.
The KH-3 payload consisted of the further improved C''' (Corona triple-prime) single panoramic camera and a single General Electric return vehicle (SRV, Satellite Return Vehicle). The C'''-camera was built by Itek Corporation and with a f/3.5 aperture and 61 cm focal length had a ground resolution of 7.5 m.
The satellite was based on the Agena-B upper stage, which provided attitude control in orbit. The film return capsule carried its own small solid-fuel retro motor to deorbit at the end of the mission with mid-air recovery of the returning capsule by a specially equipped aircraft.
The last mission of this series, KH-3 6, was modified and used a forward structure similar to the later KH-4 series with the KH-3 camera.
Six KH-3 satellites were launched, of which four resulted in a successful return of film. One mission failed to orbit. KH-3 5 deployed the small OSCAR 1 ammateur satellite.
Some satellites carried secondary payloads mounted on the satellite:
|Type / Application:||Reconnaissance, photo (film return type)|
|Configuration:||Agena-B, 1 SRV|
|Propulsion:||Bell 8081, Star-12 retro motor|
|KH-3 1 (Corona 29, Discoverer 29)||1961 ψ||30.08.1961||Va 75-3-4||Thor-DM21 Agena-B|
|KH-3 2 (Corona 30, Discoverer 30)||1961 ω 1||12.09.1961||Va 75-3-5||Thor-DM21 Agena-B|
|KH-3 3 (Corona 31, Discoverer 31)||1961 αβ||17.09.1961||Va 75-1-1||Thor-DM21 Agena-B|
|KH-3 4 (Corona 32, Discoverer 32)||1961 αγ 1||13.10.1961||Va 75-3-4||Thor-DM21 Agena-B|
|KH-3 5 (Corona 36, Discoverer 36)||1961 ακ 1||12.12.1961||Va 75-3-4||Thor-DM21 Agena-B||with OSCAR 1|
|KH-3 6 (Corona 37, Discoverer 37)||1962-F01||13.01.1962||Va 75-3-4||F||Thor-DM21 Agena-B|
Further KH missions:
Further Discoverer missions:
Further Corona missions:
Further Aftrack ELINT missions: