Encyclopedia Astronautica
KH-2


American military surveillance satellite. 10 launches, 1960.10.26 (SRV 506) to 1961.08.04 (SRV 512). Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried one 'C-Prime' panoramic camera, with a focal length of 61 cm and a ground resolution of 9 m.

Gross mass: 1,146 kg (2,526 lb).
First Launch: 1960.10.26.
Last Launch: 1961.08.04.
Number: 10 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Thor Agena B American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x Agena B More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • Lockheed American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, CA, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Bramscher, Robert G, "A Survey of Launch Vehicle Failures", Spaceflight, 1980, Volume 22, page 351.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC1E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1967. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC1W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

KH-2 Chronology


1960 October 26 - . 20:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 253 / Agena B 1061. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Discoverer 16 - . Payload: KH-2 9011. Mass: 1,091 kg (2,405 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1960-10-26 . COSPAR: F601026A. Summary: KH-1; mission failed..
  • SRV 506 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-2. COSPAR: F601026B.

1960 November 12 - . 20:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 297 / Agena B 1062.
  • Discoverer 17 - . Payload: KH-2 9012 / Agena B 1062. Mass: 1,091 kg (2,405 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1960-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 61 . COSPAR: 1960-Omicron-1. Apogee: 984 km (611 mi). Perigee: 190 km (110 mi). Inclination: 81.7000 deg. Period: 96.40 min. KH-1; film capsule recovered 2.1 days later. Mission failed. Obtained orbit successfully. Film separated before any camera operation leaving only 1.7 ft of film in capsule. On December 2, the Air Force revealed that exceedingly valuable information had been obtained from human tissues carried by Discoverer 17 (the cover story for the mission). The tissues had been exposed to an unexpectedly heavy dose of radiation for more than 50 hours in flight.

1960 December 7 - . 20:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 296 / Agena B 1103.
  • Discoverer 18 - . Payload: KH-2 9013 / Agena B 1103. Mass: 1,240 kg (2,730 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1961-04-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 67 . COSPAR: 1960-Sigma-1. Apogee: 510 km (310 mi). Perigee: 233 km (144 mi). Inclination: 81.5000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Summary: KH-2; film capsule recovered 3.1 days later. First successful mission employing KH-2 camera system..

1961 March 30 - . 20:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 300 / Agena B 1105. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Discoverer 22 - . Payload: KH-2 9015. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1961-03-30 . COSPAR: F610330A. Summary: KH-2; Mission failed..
  • SRV 509 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-2. COSPAR: F610330B.

1961 June 16 - . 23:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 303 / Agena B 1107.
  • Discoverer 25 - . Payload: KH-2 9017 / Agena B 1107. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1961-07-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 108 . COSPAR: 1961-Xi-1. Apogee: 404 km (251 mi). Perigee: 222 km (137 mi). Inclination: 82.1000 deg. Period: 90.80 min. Summary: KH-2; film capsule recovered 2.1 days later. Capsule recovered from water on orbit 32. Streaks throughout film..

1961 July 7 - . 23:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 308 / Agena B 1109.
  • Discoverer 26 - . Payload: KH-2 9019 / Agena B 1109. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1961-12-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 160 . COSPAR: 1961-Pi-1. Apogee: 803 km (498 mi). Perigee: 228 km (141 mi). Inclination: 82.9000 deg. Period: 94.90 min. Summary: KH-2; film capsule recovered 2.1 days later. Main camera malfunctioned on pass 22..

1961 August 4 - . 00:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 309 / Agena B 1111. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Discoverer 28 - . Payload: KH-2 9021. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-2. Decay Date: 1961-08-03 . COSPAR: F610804A. Summary: KH-2; Mission failed..
  • SRV 512 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-2. COSPAR: F610804B.

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