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Author Topic: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON  (Read 13354 times)

Offline Flyaway

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2018, 12:50:34 pm »
It’s believed that Block 1 KH-11 maybe declassified this year.

By the way the first Block 5 KH-11 is expected to be launched later this year.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2019, 03:03:37 pm »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3662/1

Above Top Secret: the last flight of the Big Bird

by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, February 18, 2019

By the early 1980s, the HEXAGON reconnaissance satellite program was scheduled to end. Only a few more of the heavy, schoolbus-sized spacecraft were under construction. Efforts by senior Air Force officials within the Los Angeles office of the highly classified National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to either build more spacecraft, or use the Space Shuttle to recover and relaunch one or more of the last satellites, had been rejected as impractical or too expensive. The NRO leadership in Washington instead chose to stretch out the remaining launches, keeping the satellites in orbit longer and taking more images. The HEXAGON had a powerful dual camera system also known as the KH-9 and capable of imaging almost the entire Soviet landmass in a single mission. Because of that, the 20th and last HEXAGON spacecraft, scheduled for launch in spring 1986, became very important to many members of the intelligence community.

But what has not been known until now is that the last HEXAGON spacecraft acquired an additional top secret sensor and intelligence mission in addition to its primary job of taking medium resolution photography of vast amounts of territory. The spacecraft was also supposed to fly twice as long as any previous HEXAGON mission. On April 26, 1986, the last HEXAGON spacecraft—which was euphemistically referred to as “the big bird” by launch crews—lifted off atop a Titan 34D at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

And then the rocket blew up.

Offline martinbayer

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2019, 09:14:29 pm »
Oh well - water under the bridge...
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 06:50:20 am by martinbayer »
Would be marching to the beat of his own drum, if he didn't detest marching to any drumbeat at all so much.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #33 on: Today at 04:22:17 pm »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3677/1

An enigma behind the curtain: the Tallinn anti-ballistic missile system and satellite intelligence

by Chris Manteuffel
Monday, March 18, 2019

For the first two decades of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was far behind the US in nuclear weapons and relied on deception as its main deterrent. They managed to deceive the US first that there was a bomber gap, then a missile gap, and that the US was falling further and further behind. In 1961, the Soviets had just four intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) launch pads, at a time when the US deployed almost 200, but the Soviets claimed to be building missiles “like sausages from a machine” and that they had outstripped US production.[1] Then American spy technology—the U-2 plane and satellites—proved US stockpiles were massively superior to the Soviet arsenal and the US happily reduced missile production.[2]

But that was hardly the last time intelligence affected US strategic deployment. The same technology, just a few years later, would incite rather than calm fears of a potential Soviet advance in anti-ballistic missile technologies, leading to deploying new weapons and the largest number of strategic nuclear weapons ever in US history. Due to the limitations of photographs, it is really hard to know how fast a missile can accelerate, how far it can travel, or how fast a radar can track a target. In the case of what was known as the Tallinn System, those very questions caused the US to develop more weapons than they would have otherwise, weapons that were in hindsight unnecessary.