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KH-3 CORONA

The KH-3 carried a single panoramic camera. The satellites were designed to deorbit a film capsule (referred to as a "bucket")from space with mid-air recovery of the returning capsule by a specially equipped aircraft. Early systems operated with a single bucket.

+------------+---------+-----------+------------+------------+------------+
| KH         | System  | Successful| Period of  | Amount of  | No. of     |
| Designator |         |  Mission  | Operations | Film       | Primary    |
|            |         |  Numbers  |            | (ft.)      | Camera     |
|            |         |           |            |            | Frames     |
|------------|---------|-----------|------------|------------|------------|
| KH-3       | CORONA  | 9022,     | August     | 24,676     | 9,918      |
|            |         | 9023,     | 1961 -     |            |            |
|            |         | 9025,     | January    |            |            |
|            |         | 9028,     | 1962       |            |            |
|            |         | 9029      |            |            |            |
+------------+---------+-----------+------------+------------+------------+

The following table gives a listing of all missions organized according to mission number order. The statement "mission failed" is made under the mission description for missions that failed to acquire imagery.

|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| KH-3 Mission  | Date          | Short Mission Description            |
|               | Launched      |                                      |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9022          | 12-Sep-61     | *Best mission to date.  Same         |
|               |               | out-of-focus condition as in 9023.   |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9023          | 30-Aug-61     | *First use of KH-3 camera system.    |
|               |               | All frames out of focus.             |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9024          | 17-Sep-61     | Mission failed.  Power failure and   |
|               |               | loss of control gas on orbit 33.     |
|               |               | Capsule was not recovered.           |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9025          | 13-Oct-61     | *Capsule recovered on orbit 18.  96% |
|               |               | of film out of focus.                |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9026          | 23-Oct-61     | Mission failed.  Satellite failed to |
|               |               | separate from Thor booster.  No      |
|               |               | orbit.                               |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9027          | 5-Nov-61      | Mission failed.  Improper launch     |
|               |               | angle resulted in extreme orbit.     |
|               |               | Gas valve failed, recovery not       |
|               |               | attempted.                           |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9028          | 15-Nov-61     | *All cameras operated                |
|               |               | satisfactorily.  Grainy emulsion     |
|               |               | noted.                               |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9029          | 12-Dec-61     | *Best mission to date.               |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|
| 9030          | 13-Jan-62     | Mission failed.  No orbit.           |
|---------------|---------------|--------------------------------------|


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http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/imint/kh-3.htm
Implemented by Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
Maintained by Webmaster
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, September 09, 2000