Encyclopedia Astronautica
KH-5


American military surveillance satellite. 16 launches, 1961.02.17 (Discoverer 20) to 1964.08.21 (KH-5 9066A). US mapping satellite. Carried one frame camera, with a focal length of 76 mm, and a ground resolution of 140 m.

Ground swath was 556 km x 556 km. The camera was adapted to a frame-scanning system and used on the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft.

Gross mass: 1,274 kg (2,808 lb).
First Launch: 1961.02.17.
Last Launch: 1964.08.21.
Number: 16 .

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...
  • Thor Agena D American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x Agena D More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, 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...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

KH-5 Chronology


1961 February 17 - . 20:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 298.
  • Discoverer 20 - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9014A / Agena B 1104. Mass: 1,110 kg (2,440 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1962-07-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 83 . COSPAR: 1961-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 491 km (305 mi). Perigee: 277 km (172 mi). Inclination: 80.8000 deg. Period: 92.30 min. Summary: KH-5; film capsule not ejected. Mission failed. Program malfunctioned and capsule did not reenter. First attempted ARGON mission. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • SRV 520 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1961-10-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 90 . COSPAR: 1961-Epsilon-4. Apogee: 327 km (203 mi). Perigee: 321 km (199 mi). Inclination: 80.7000 deg. Period: 91.00 min.

1961 April 8 - . 19:21 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 307 / Agena B 1106.
  • Discoverer 23 - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9016A / Agena B 1106 / Capsule SRV 521. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1962-04-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 100 . COSPAR: 1961-Lambda-1. Apogee: 651 km (404 mi). Perigee: 295 km (183 mi). Inclination: 82.3000 deg. Period: 94.10 min. Summary: KH-5; film capsule boosted into higher orbit, decayed 5/23/62. Mission failed. Loss of satellite control gas caused unstable condition. No recovery. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1961 June 8 - . 21:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 302 / Agena B 1108. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Discoverer 24 - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9018A. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1961-06-08 . COSPAR: F610608A. Summary: KH-5. Mission failed..
  • SRV 541 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-5. COSPAR: F610608B.

1961 July 21 - . 22:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 322 / Agena B 1110. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: U.
  • Discoverer 27 - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9020A. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1961-07-21 . COSPAR: F610721A. Summary: KH-5; destroyed by range safety. Mission failed..
  • SRV 524 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-5. COSPAR: F610721B.

1962 May 15 - . 19:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 334 / Agena B 1126.
  • KH-5 9034A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9034A/Agena B 1126. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1963-11-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 292 . COSPAR: 1962-Sigma-1. Apogee: 550 km (340 mi). Perigee: 283 km (175 mi). Inclination: 82.3000 deg. Period: 93.00 min. Summary: KH-5; film capsule recovered 4.1 days later. First successful KH-5 mission. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1962 September 1 - . 20:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 348 / Agena B 1132.
  • KH-5 9042A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9042A/Agena B 1132. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1964-10-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 385 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Upsilon-1. Apogee: 639 km (397 mi). Perigee: 293 km (182 mi). Inclination: 82.8000 deg. Period: 94.00 min. Summary: KH-5. Mission failed. Parachute shrouds parted during air catch, capsule sank. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • SRV 600 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-5. COSPAR: 1962-A-Upsilon-x.

1962 October 9 - . 18:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. LV Configuration: Thor Agena B 352 / Agena B 1134.
  • KH-5 9046A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9046A/Agena B 1134. Mass: 1,150 kg (2,530 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1962-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 436 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Epsilon-1. Apogee: 427 km (265 mi). Perigee: 213 km (132 mi). Inclination: 82.0000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Summary: KH-5; film capsule recovered 4.1 days later. 50% of stellar terrain film was blank due to shutter malfunction. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..
  • SRV 603 - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: KH-5. COSPAR: 1962-B-Epsilon-x.

1963 April 26 - . 20:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D. LV Configuration: Thor Agena D 372 / Agena D 1411. FAILURE: Attitude sensors were misaligned. No orbit.. Failed Stage: G.
  • KH-5 9055A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9055A. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1963-04-26 . COSPAR: F630426AA. Summary: Mission failed..

1963 October 29 - . 21:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2A/D. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2A Agena D 386 / Agena D 1601.
  • KH-5 9059A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9059A/Agena D 1601. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1964-01-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 681 . COSPAR: 1963-042A. Apogee: 318 km (197 mi). Perigee: 283 km (175 mi). Inclination: 89.9000 deg. Period: 90.60 min. Summary: KH-5; deployed ELINT subsatellite. Fourth film payload retrieved in ARGON program. Film comparable to that of 9058A. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1964 June 13 - . 15:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2A/D. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2A Agena D 408 / Agena D 1606.
  • KH-5 9065A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9065A / OPS 3236. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1965-06-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 811 . COSPAR: 1964-030A. Apogee: 362 km (224 mi). Perigee: 352 km (218 mi). Inclination: 114.9000 deg. Period: 91.70 min. Summary: KH-5; carried Star Flash experiment. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

1964 August 21 - . 15:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2A/D. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2A Agena D 412 / Agena D 1603.
  • KH-5 9066A - . Payload: KH-5 s/n 9066A / Agena D 1603 / OPS 2739. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; CIA. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: KH-5. Decay Date: 1965-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 861 . COSPAR: 1964-048A. Apogee: 363 km (225 mi). Perigee: 351 km (218 mi). Inclination: 114.9000 deg. Period: 91.70 min. Summary: KH-5. 15% of stellar film degraded by flare. Image smearing on leading edge of main camera film. Final ARGON mission. Officially: Spacecraft Engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A)..

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