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Author Topic: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON  (Read 11863 times)

Offline RyanC

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2011, 02:48:19 pm »
Last HEXAGON pix...

Offline RyanC

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2011, 04:17:39 pm »
Some statistics from the displays there:
 
Launches:
92 x GAMBITs from July 1963 - April 1984
20 x HEXAGONs from June 1971 - April 1986
 
Statistics:
GAMBIT 1: 724 average targets/mission for 27,534 targets total.
GAMBIT 2: 12,978 average targets/mission for 700,812 targets total.
 
One GAMBIT 3 mission acquired 27,652 frames with 49,372 targets!
 
The average HEXAGON mission covered 46 million square nautical miles.
 
The total coverage from all 20 HEXAGONs launched was 877 million square nautical miles and 104 million square nautical miles covered with the mapping cameras.

Offline InvisibleDefender

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2011, 06:39:12 pm »
Great stuff - thanks for posting! I wasn't able to make it out there today, even though I was only 4 miles away! ARGH.
Great link to all the stuff declassified today (including the videos!) - http://www.nro.gov/foia/declass/GAMBHEX.html
ENJOY!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 07:22:07 pm by InvisibleDefender »
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Offline circle-5

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2011, 08:08:33 pm »
Thank you Ryan. This is almost like being there!

Offline Michel Van

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2011, 11:25:52 pm »
also a BIG THX from me


Sad they not display KH-10 DORIAN in his Manned Orbital Laboratory form...
I love Strange Technology

Offline z40

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2011, 01:41:15 am »
Wow!

Thank you RyanCrierie. I was crossing my fingers that someone on the net would take a bumper load of pictures, and you delivered the goods.

Online Grey Havoc

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2011, 01:49:36 am »
Great photos and info. Many thanks RyanCrierie!
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Offline OM

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2011, 03:37:13 pm »
[quote author=RyanCrierie link=topic=13741.msg134511#msg134511 Don't ask me how I got them.  B)
 
I know! You traded these for the as-yet unrevealed hacked photos of Scarlett Johannson...

...Nah, probably the same way I got those shots of that small model of one of the Orion concepts that was going to be revealed by our pathetic excuse for a governor during one of my trips to JSC/Space Center Disney. I ducked under the ropes, took my pictures, and when the big, fat, hippie-haired security thug tried to harass me, I pointed out how stupid he'd look trying to arrest someone like me, who's obviously *not* an "A-Rab Tallybanned Terrorist Scumbag", for just getting pictures of something that wasn't secret in the first place. He actually walked away with a dumbfounded stare in his eyes, like I'd actually blown out his one or two brain cells.

...In all seriousness, tho, Ryan probably knows someone who let him duck under the ropes and/or peek behind the curtain where Carol Merrill is standing. I'm just jealous as hell that *I* wasn't the one who got the photo-op, as I learned very early on with my own professional photography gigs how to aim straight, shoot fast, and get as many pictures using the "shotgun method" as possible. You'll wind up with some pics that aren't framed/exposed/focused right, but surprisingly enough the number of bad pics will be far less than you'd expect. Before I got "Stumpy" and had to back off of the fast shoots, I was averaging - and this is the truth - about one bad shot per ~300, and those were usually the result of the autofocus on either of my Canon twins locking on the wrong focal point.

Regardless of professional jealousy, damn fine shots, Ryan. And thanks for sharing them at high-res, too!

MOAR!
 
I do wish my camera had been a 5D Mark II; I could have gotten much clearer and brighter pictures. U-H is murder on cameras.

...The *only* museum I have ever visited that didn't require the use of flash/glare photography was the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston. The place was surprisingly well-lit even in the one area where they had glassed-in displays - mostly uniforms, medals and other small things that could sprout legs and walk if they weren't encased - and the only reason I took any shots with the flash was to contrast/compare how the exhibits looked under both conditions. Sadly, due to a combination of work issued followed by the arrival of "Stumpy", I haven't been down to Galveston to see the museum since Hurricane Ike essentially trashed the place, but from what I understand the guys and gals down there have gotten the place opened and cleaned up to where it's pretty much as it was pre-Ike. I really should donate a couple of CD copies of the photos I took next time I manage to drop down there, just so they'll have another source of reference for future use. While it may not be U-H or even that place in Kansas, the LSFM is still one of the best aviation museums in the state, if not the US. And that's not just because it's the best lit one, either.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 03:51:02 pm by OM »

Offline flateric

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 11:16:44 am »
Three formerly classified reconnaissance satellites now on display at National Museum USAFby Rob Bardua
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force1/26/2012 - DAYTON, Ohio -- Military, government and industry officials gathered today to officially place three formerly classified reconnaissance satellites on public display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The three satellites: Gambit 1 KH-7, Gambit 3 KH-8 and Hexagon KH-9, were among the most important U.S. photo reconnaissance systems used from the 1960s to the 1980s, and played a critical role in winning the Cold War and maintaining U.S. national security.

Passing in space high over their targets, these satellites used specially-designed film and cameras to take photos in orbit. The satellites were unmanned and unlikely to be shot down, and therefore minimized risks to military personnel while still obtaining information about areas of the world that the United States could not access.

Led by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Air Force, Central Intelligence Agency, and industry worked together to create these amazingly complex and capable satellites.

According to NRO Director and Air Force Gen. (Ret.) Bruce Carlson, NRO reconnaissance systems - from planes to satellites such as Gambit and Hexagon - have been and continue to be the foundation for global situational awareness in protection of our nation.

"Last year the NRO celebrated its 50th anniversary, and we announced the declassification of two NRO systems, Gambit and Hexagon, which were America's eyes in space and the most sophisticated satellites of their time," said Carlson. "These systems were critical for monitoring key targets in the USSR and around the globe and provided much-needed cartographic information to the DOD to produce accurate, large-scale maps."

Gambit 1 satellites were the first American high-resolution space reconnaissance systems. This first generation of Gambit vehicle flew from 1963-1967. Gambit 1 added important new close-up capability to wide-search satellites already in use and were the first satellites to feature stereo high resolution cameras.

Gambit 3 satellites improved upon the Gambit 1 by providing much better image resolution in tracking adversaries' weapons development. Gambit 3 was a long-lived system, and completed 54 missions from 1966-1984. The most notable advancement from Gambit 1 to Gambit 3 was the addition of a "roll joint" between the camera module and the Agena control vehicle in the rear. This rolling joint made the satellite extremely stable as a photo platform, conserved film and increased the number of targets photographed. In addition, new super-thin photographic film allowed the vehicle to carry more film.

Hexagon satellites were the largest and last U.S. intelligence satellites to return photographic film to earth. Hexagon provided vital intelligence and mapping photos from space that allowed U.S. planners to counter Cold War threats. Between 1971 and 1984, 19 Hexagon missions imaged 877 million square miles of the earth's surface. Objects smaller than two feet across could be imaged from around 80-100 miles altitude. Analysts could search broad and wide areas for threats with Hexagon, and then focus in on suspect areas with surveillance from Gambit satellites.

Both Gambit and Hexagon systems returned exposed film to earth in re-entry vehicles or "buckets" that separated from the satellite, fell through the atmosphere, and descended by parachute. Air Force aircraft were assigned to pluck the buckets from the sky at around 15,000 feet.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson said the three satellites are a great addition for the Air Force's national museum because the Air Force played a key role in space reconnaissance from the beginning.

"Gambit 1, Gambit 3 and Hexagon satellites are significant and rare artifacts, which will enable us to better present the story of Air Force operations in space," said Hudson. "The Air Force has provided launch, tracking, control and range safety services for reconnaissance satellites throughout the entire Cold War, and it continues these activities today."

To commemorate the event, Hudson presented Carlson with a painting of the Hexagon satellite by nationally recognized artist and Dayton, Ohio resident, Dr. Richard Black, which was commissioned by the Air Force Museum Foundation.

Eventually, the satellites will be placed in the museum's planned fourth building, which will house the Space Gallery, Presidential Aircraft Gallery and Global Reach Gallery.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.


NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, please contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, please contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.


http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123287508
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 11:21:37 am by flateric »
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Offline blackstar

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2012, 04:56:19 pm »
The KH-8/GAMBIT-3 is not opened up like the KH-7/GAMBIT-1 is. This is a shame. I hope that they have plans to display it better at some point.

Offline antigravite

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2012, 02:21:55 pm »
Just announced on Steven Aftergood's FAS / secrecy blog:  "A massive quantity of historical intelligence satellite imagery from the KH-9 HEXAGON program is being declassified and will be made public in a series of releases that are scheduled over the coming year, intelligence community officials say."

[/size]... the rest of the story can be found there:[/color]
[/size]http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/10/hexagon_imagery.html[/color]
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Offline blackstar

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2013, 10:36:43 am »
Phil Pressel's book on the Hexagon (which I helped edit) is on sale, along with a bunch of other AIAA Press books. They are available far cheaper than you can get anywhere else at any other time:

http://arc.aiaa.org/page/25for25sale


Offline Flyaway

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2018, 02:05:12 pm »
GAMBIT: The Eye of the Eagle


National Reconnaissance Office
Published on Jul 13, 2018

Overview of GAMBIT, a historical national reconnaissance program.



Offline Flyaway

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2018, 02:07:31 pm »
Gambit Hexagon Declassification Overview

National Reconnaissance Office
Published on Jul 13, 2018

Overview of historical GAMBIT and HEXAGON national reconnaissance program



Offline fredymac

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Re: KH-7 GAMBIT-1 / KH-8 GAMBIT-3 / KH-9 HEXAGON
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2018, 05:16:42 pm »
I wonder when the KH-11 will ever be declassified.  The current status seems that they are still in use after 40 years of service.

Given the cancellation of the "Future Imaging Architecture" (optical part) replacement, they may be waiting till something really new comes along like diffractive membrane optics or photonic chips.  There are some interesting concepts but who knows if they are being pursued.  You wouldn't want a super wide angle high resolution setup like this but it shows what you can do with novel configurations and today's electronics.