KH-6 3 [USAF]
KH-6 (Keyhole 6, codenamed Lanyard) was an early attempt to gain higher resolution imagery, which flew only one successful mission in 1963. The KH-6 camera was programmed to tilt between fore and aft to cover the same land area twice during a photographic pass and thus to acquire stereo coverage. The KH-6 carried a single panoramic camera, which was a modified Samos E-5 camera built by Kodak and integrated with Corona hardware. The ground resolution of KH-6 was ca. 1.8 m. The satellites were designed to deorbit a film capsule from space with mid-air recovery of the returning capsule by a specially equipped aircraft. Due to the short mission duration of 8 to 12 days no solar arrays were carried.
The first KH-6 failed to reach orbit. The second one operated in orbit, but failed to use film, so that no images were acquired. Only the third and last KH-6 returned images, but those were found to be of poor quality. The KH-6 Lanyard program was terminated after this flight in favor of the imminent KH-7 (Gambit-1) high resolution reconnaissance satellites.
The failed first mission carried the small "Hitchhiker" satellites.
|Type / Application:||Reconnaissance, photo|
|Contractors:||Lockheed (prime); Kodak (camera)|
|Configuration:||Agena-D, 1 SRV|
|Propulsion:||Bell 8096, Star-12 retro motor|
|Lifetime:||8 - 12 days|
|KH-6 1 (Lanyard 1, Corona 61, OPS 0627)||18.03.1963||Va 75-3-4||F||Thor-SLV2A Agena-D||with Hitchhiker (1)|
|KH-6 2 (Lanyard 2, Corona 64, OPS 0924, FTV 1110)||18.05.1963||Va 75-3-5||Thor-SLV2A Agena-D|
|KH-6 3 (Lanyard 3, Corona 68, OPS 1370)||31.07.1963||Va 75-1-2||Thor-SLV2A Agena-D|
Further KH missions:
Further Corona missions: