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Surveillance orbit
Category of spacecraft.



Subtopics

KH-1 American military surveillance satellite. First US film reconnaissance satellite, and first polar orbiting satellite. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1959 - 1960.

Samos American military surveillance satellite. First generation photo surveillance; return of camera and film by capsule; program still partially classified, evidently due to embarrassment.

KH-2 American military surveillance satellite. Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried one 'C-Prime' panoramic camera, with a focal length of 61 cm and a ground resolution of 9 m. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1960 - 1961.

KH-5 American military surveillance satellite. US mapping satellite. Carried one frame camera, with a focal length of 76 mm, and a ground resolution of 140 m. Reconnaissance, photo (Area survey) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1963 - 1964.

KH-3 American military surveillance satellite. Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried one 'C-Double Prime' panoramic camera, with a focal length of 61 cm and a ground resolution of 7.6 m. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1961 - 1962.

Zenit-2 satellite Russian military surveillance satellite. The Zenit-2 was a derivative of the manned Vostok, and the Soviet Union's first spy satellite. Reconnaissance, photo (low resolution, film return type), ELINT satellite built by OKB-1 for GRU, Russia. Launched 1961 - 1970. Used Zenit bus.

Ferret American military signals intelligence satellite.

KH-4 American military surveillance satellite. Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried two 'Mural' panoramic cameras, with a focal length of 61 cm, and a ground resolution of 7.6 m. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1962 - 1963.

Soyuz R Russian manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1966. A military reconnaissance version of Soyuz, developed by Kozlov at Samara from 1963-1966. It was to consist of an the 11F71 small orbital station and the 11F72 Soyuz 7K-TK manned ferry.

NRL ELINT Null

KH-6 American military surveillance satellite. US reconnaissance satellite, lashed together to meet an emergency requirement for close-up imaging of a suspected Soviet ICBM site near Tallinn. Reconnaissance, photo satellite built by Lockheed (prime); Kodak (camera) for USAF, USA. Launched 1963.

KH-7 American military surveillance satellite. US reconnaissance satellite. Still classified. Camera believed to have ground resolution of 0.46 m. Film returned in two capsules. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by General Electric for USAF, USA. Launched 1963 - 1967.

KH-4A American military surveillance satellite. Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried two 'J-1' panoramic cameras, with a focal length of 61 cm, and a ground resolution of 2.7 m. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1963 - 1969.

Zenit-4 Russian military surveillance satellite. Zenit-4 was the second Soviet photo-reconnaissance satellite, providing high-resolution imagery to complement the area coverage of the Zenit-2. Reconnaissance, photo (high resolution, film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1963 - 1970. Used Zenit bus.

Meteor Russian earth weather satellite. The first Soviet weather satellite. Development began with a decree of 30 October 1960. The bus was the basis for a series of Russian earth weather satellites flown in three generations 1964-2009. The first generation bus was adapted for earth resource payloads and flown under the Resurs and Priroda designations as well.

Soyuz VI Russian manned combat spacecraft. Cancelled 1965. To determine the usefulness of manned military space flight, two projects were pursued in the second half of the 1960's.

KH-8 American military surveillance satellite. Longest-lived and last US film-return reconnaissance satellite. Ground resolution 0.5 m. Film returned in two capsules. Typical life 50 days. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite operated by USAF, USA. Launched 1966 - 1969.

MOL American manned space station. Cancelled 1969. MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) was the US Air Force's manned space project after Dynasoar was cancelled, until it in turn was cancelled in 1969. The earth orbit station used a helium-oxygen atmosphere.

KH-4B American military surveillance satellite. Early US reconnaissance satellite. Carried two 'J-3' panoramic cameras, with a focal length of 61 cm, and a ground resolution of 1.8 m. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by Lockheed for USAF, USA. Launched 1967 - 1972.

Nauka Russian earth magnetosphere satellite. The Nauka containers were flown as piggy-back payloads aboard Zenit reconnaissance satellites. They served a dual purpose.

Zenit-2M satellite Russian military surveillance satellite. 1 Planning began in mid-1967 for military systems to enter service through 1975. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1968 - 1979. Used Zenit bus.

Zenit-4M Russian military surveillance satellite. Planning began in mid-1967 for military systems to enter service through 1975. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1968 - 1974. Used Zenit bus.

Yantar-1 Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1968. Survey reconnaissance satellite project of KB Yuzhnoye worked on 1964-1967.

Yantar-2 Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1968. High resolution reconnaissance satellite project worked on by KB Yuzhnoye 1964-1967. Was to have been derived from Soyuz-R manned spacecraft.

Zenit-4MK Russian military surveillance satellite. Modernized high resolution version of the Zenit-4M satellite that went into service in 1972. Maneuverable; (two-tone telemetry). Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1969 - 1977. Used Zenit bus.

Yantar-3KF Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1969. Survey reconnaissance satellite system studied in 1969. Not put into production.

Yantar-1KF Russian military surveillance satellite. Cancelled 1970. Survey reconnaissance satellite project worked on by Kozlov from 1967, succeeding Yantar-1. To be launched on Soyuz 11A511M launch vehicle.

KH-9 American military surveillance satellite. Popularly known as 'Big Bird'. Titan 3C-class film-return reconnaissance satellite. Reconnaissance, photo satellite built by Lockheed (prime); Perkin-Elmer (cameras) for USAF, USA. Launched 1971 - 1986.

Zenit-4MT Russian military surveillance satellite. Special version of Zenit developed for topographical photography. This was developed by OKB-1 Filial 1 based on the Zenit-4M. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1971 - 1982. Used Zenit bus.

Bion Russian biology satellite. Bion was developed for biological studies of the effects of radiation. Life Science satellite built by TsSKB > TsSKB-Progress, Russia. Launched 1973 - 1996. Used Zenit Bus.

Yantar-2K Russian military surveillance satellite. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1974 - 1983. Used Yantar Bus, main reentry module, 2 small reentry capsules.

FSW Chinese military surveillance satellite. Reconnaissance, Earth observation satellite built by CAST, China. Launched 1974 - 1987.

US-P Russian military naval signals reconnaissance satellite. The US-P (later known as RTR) was a solar powered EORSAT (Electronic Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite). Ocean surveillance, passive satellite, Russia. Launched 1974 - 1991. Used US-Bus.

Zenit-4MKT Russian military surveillance satellite. The Zenit-4MKT / Fram was an adaptation of the recoverable Vostok spacecraft for reconnaissance/remote sensing missions. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1975 - 1985. Used Zenit bus.

Soyuz 7K-MF6 Russian manned spacecraft. Soyuz 22. Soyuz 7K-T modified with installation of East German MF6 multispectral camera. Used for a unique solo Soyuz earth resources mission. Launched 1976.

Zenit-6U Russian military surveillance satellite. A universal variant of the Zenit spacecraft, used in two altitude ranges, for both observation and high resolution missions. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1976 - 1984. Used Zenit bus.

KH-11 American military surveillance satellite. Also known as Kennan, Program 1010. Used systems developed for KH-10 Manned Orbiting Laboratory. Reconnaissance, electro-optical satellite built by Lockheed => Lockheed Martin for NRO, USA. Launched 1976 - 2013. Used Bus-1.

Yantar-4K2 Russian military surveillance satellite. Cancelled 1991. Improved military photo-reconnaissance satellite, using the basic Yantar-4K1 bus. Boost by the Zenit-2 launch vehicle would have allowed 22 film return capsules to be used over a 180 day mission. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB > TsSKB-Progress for GRU, Russia. Launched 1981 - 2002. Used Yantar Bus, main reentry module, 2 small reentry capsules.

Yantar-6K Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1977. Extremely high resolution version of Yantar studied in 1969. A draft project was completed in May 1977, but the decision was made to keep the basic Yantar-2K satellite bus instead.

Yantar-6KS Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1977. Electro-optical imaging operational high resolution version of Yantar studied in 1969.

Zenit-4MKM Russian military surveillance satellite. A further modification of the Zenit-4MK, accepted for military service in 1976, entered service in 1978. Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1977 - 1980. Used Zenit bus.

Yantar-4K1 Russian film-return military surveillance satellite. Flight trials of the Yantar-2K indicated the satellite was not capable of providing strategic warning of attack. The high resolution Yantar-4K provided that capability, while still capable of being launched by the existing Soyuz-U launch vehicle. Lifetime was 45 days. Two small capsules could return film an interim basis before the main spacecraft with film returned to earth.

Resurs F1-17F41 Russian earth land resources satellite. The 17F41 was the first of 4 models of the Resurs-F to fly. Earth Observation (film return) satellite built by TsSKB, Russia. Launched 1979 - 1986.

Yantar-2K-M Russian military surveillance satellite. Study 1980. Planned upgrade of Yantar-2K. Not put into production.

Yantar-1KFT Russian military surveillance satellite. Version of the Yantar photo satellite for topographic mapping on behalf of the Red Army. Area Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1981 - 2005. Used Yantar Bus, Zenit reentry module.

Yantar-4KS1 Russian military electro-optical surveillance satellite. Reconnaissance, photo (data transmitting) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1982 - 1990. Used Yantar Bus.

Multipurpose Satellite Gals Russian earth resources radar satellite. Study 1983. Heavy radar satellite based on the DOS 17K space station bus and using a KRT-30, a 30 m diameter radio telescope.

Yantar-4KS2 Russian military surveillance satellite. Cancelled 1983. The Yantar-4KS2 was a heavy military optical reconnaissance satellite, required to have the same capabilities as the KH-11/Crystal reconnaissance satellite of the United States.

Zenit-8 Russian military surveillance satellite. 1 Reconnaissance, photo (film return type) satellite built by TsSKB for GRU, Russia. Launched 1984 - 1994. Used Zenit bus.

Resurs F1-14F40 Russian earth land resources satellite. The Resurs-F earth resource satellite was based on the recoverable Zenit-4 spy satellite. Earth Observation (film return) satellite built by TsSKB, Russia. Launched 1986 - 1988.

Koltso Russian military target satellite. Cosmos 1786. Calibration mission. Tentatively identified as third generation replacement for Taifun-2, perhaps to have been launched by the Tsyklon 3 launch vehicle. Radar calibration satellite built by Yuzhnoye, Russia. Launched 1988 - 1990.

Orlets-2 Russian military surveillance satellite. Reconnaissance, photo (film return) satellite operated by GRU, Russia. Launched 1994 - 2000.

Almaz-T Russian civilian surveillance radar satellite. The results of the manned Almaz flights showed that manned reconnaissance from space was not worth the expense. Radar satellite (modified manned spacecraft) satellite for NPO Machinostroenye, USSR. Launched 1986-1991.

Resurs F2 Russian earth land resources satellite. Adaptation of recoverable Vostok spacecraft for remote sensing. Earth Observation (film return) satellite built by TsSKB, Russia. Launched 1987 - 1995.

Resurs F1-14F43 Russian earth land resources satellite. A decree of 5 May 1977 authorized development of three earth resource satellites. Earth Observation (film return) satellite built by TsSKB, Russia. Launched 1988 - 1993.

Singleton American military naval signals reconnaissance satellite. Signals intelligence satellite; possibly some kind of imaging also done. On-board propulsion boosts spacecraft to 800 km operating orbit.

Ofeq 1-2 Israeli technology satellite. Ofeq, meaning 'Horizon', was a technology demonstration satellite developed by IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries) for ISA (Israel Space Agency). Technology satellite built by IAI, MBT for ISA, Israel. Launched 1988 - 1990. Used Ofeq-1 Bus.

Pirs-2 Russian military naval radar satellite. Cancelled 1988. The Pirs-2 was the second phase nuclear-powered active-radar naval targeting spacecraft.

Pion Russian earth atmosphere satellite. Deployed from Resurs F1, which carried two passive separable "Pion" probes to investigate upper atmospheric density. Atmosphere density satellite, Russia. Launched 1989 - 1992.

Orlets-1 Russian military surveillance satellite. Multi-purpose satellite, designed for both close-look and survey missions, equipped with a panoramic camera, equipped with 8 film return capsules. Reconnaissance, photo (film return) satellite operated by GRU, Russia. Launched 1989 - 2006.

Greensat South African earth land resources satellite. Cancelled 1990. The South African RSA-3 launch vehicle was designed to place a small surveillance satellite of 330 kg mass into a 41 degree, 212 x 460 km orbit around the earth. Experimental satellite built by Houwteq, Denel, South Africa.

US-PU Ukrainian military naval signals reconnaissance satellite. Ocean surveillance, passive satellite, Russia. Launched 1993 - 2006. Used US-Bus.

Almaz-1B Russian civilian surveillance radar satellite. Study 1993.

Resurs-Spektr Russian civilian surveillance satellite. Study 1994. Earth Observation (all), cosmic rays (#2) satellite built by TsSKB-Progress for Roskosmos, Russia. Launched 2013 - 2016. Used Yantar bus.

Ofeq 3 Israeli military surveillance satellite. Ofeq 3 was Israel's second-generation imaging surveillance satellite. Reconnaissance, optical satellite built by IAI for Tsahal, Israel. Launched 1995 - 1998. Used OPSAT-1000 Bus.

Almaz-2 Russian civilian surveillance radar satellite. Study 1995. Plans for an even more sophisticated and capable civilian Almaz 2 spacecraft were made in the early 1990's. Almaz 2's payload mass of 6.

Mirka German re-entry vehicle technology satellite. German miniature re-entry vehicle attached to exterior of Russian Resurs satellite. After release from Resurs landed in Kazakhstan Oct 23. Reentry Technology satellite built by Kayser-Threde, DASA for DARA, Germany. Launched 1997.

Resurs F1M Russian earth land resources satellite. Variant of the Resurs-F recoverable earth resources satellite. See Resurs F1-17F40 for a full technical description. Earth Observation (film return) satellite built by TsSKB-Progress, Russia. Launched 1997 - 1999.

MightySat 1 American military technology satellite.



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