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P-801 1, ..., 7 (P-989)

The P-801 (or Program 801) satellites were a special series among the so called "Subsatellite Ferrets", low orbit ELINT/SIGINT satellites to pinpoint and characterize different Radar emitters in the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact states. Before their program name was known, they are referred to as "Subsatellite Ferret C" (SSF-C). The P-801 series was apparently also called P-989 (Program 989).

The P-801 type satellites operated from a higher orbit (12001400 km at about 80.3 to 96.9) than the P-11 satellites to monitor the ABM radars at Tallinn.

Reportedly the P-801 type subsatellite ferrets were used in conjunction under the code name Yield and later Willow with the large Jumpseat ELINT satellites, which operated from Molniya-orbits.

These subsatellites were deployed from the propulsion rack of the Agena-D stage of KH-4A Corona, KH-4B Corona reconnaissance satellites and racks mounted on the KH-9 Hexagon reconnaissance satellites. They used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver themselves into their operational orbits after deployment.

A satellite with a similar orbit is P-226 1, which might represent an modified version or just a new designation.

This series of ELINT satellites was possibly named Raquel.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: ELINT, SIGINT
Operator: USAF
Contractors: Lockheed
Equipment: ?
Configuration: mod. P-11 bus
Propulsion: 2 × kick motors
Power: Solar cells, batteries
Lifetime:
Mass:
Orbit:
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
P-801 1 (OPS 7684) 1968-112B 12.12.1968 Va SLC-3W Thorad-SLV2G Agena-D with KH-4A 49
P-801 2 (OPS 2644) 1969-010B 05.02.1969 Va SLC-3W Thorad-SLV2G Agena-D with KH-4B 6
P-801 3 1971-F01 17.02.1971 Va SLC-3W F Thorad-SLV2H Agena-D with KH-4B 13
P-801 4 ? (OPS 8314/2) 1972-079C 10.10.1972 Va SLC-4E Titan-3D with KH-9 4
P-801 5 ? (OPS 6630/2) 1973-088D 10.11.1973 Va SLC-4E Titan-3D with KH-9 7, P-11 4426
P-801 6 ? (OPS 1292) 1980-052C 18.06.1980 Va SLC-4E Titan-3D with KH-9 16
P-801 7 ? (OPS 3899) 1983-060C 20.06.1983 Va SLC-4E Titan-34D with KH-9 18

References: