- NASA went on to do pioneering work in space applications, such as communications satellites, in the 1960s. The Echo, Telstar, Relay, and Syncom satellites were built by NASA or by the private sector based on significant NASA advances.
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Here is a summary, in chronological order, of the first four Amateur Radio satellites, launched in the 1960s: 1961: OSCAR-1 Just four years after the USSR launched the Space Age with its Sputnik artificial satellite, a 10-lb. Orbital Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio, or OSCAR for short, was launched December 12, 1961, as ballast on a Thor-Agena ...
Apr 02, 2004 · NASA's first true meteorological satellite was TIROS 1, designed to test whether or not it was even practical to look at weather from space. The spacecraft launched on April 1, 1960, and took over 22,000 photographs of cloud cover before it was shut down in June of the same year.
Apr 13, 2012 · Satellite And Missile Obervation System - photographic reconnaissance satellite using TV relay. Lost when the launch vehicle failed. 1960-F13 - failed to reach orbit
Artificial satellites and space probes in the 1960s Year Launch date Origin Name Launch vehicle Target Status Description 1960 March 11 USA: Pioneer 5: Thor-Able: Sun Success: Solar monitor. Measured magnetic field phenomena, solar flare particles, and ionization in the interplanetary region: May 15 Soviet Union: Korabl-Sputnik 1: Vostok-L: Earth Success
- Corona, Argon, and Lanyard
- The Next Generations
- Current Systems
- Commercial Imagery
A little less than nine years later, on March 16, 1955, the Air Forceissued General Operational Requirement No. 80, officially establishinga high-level requirement for an advanced reconnaissance satellite. Thedocument defined the Air Force objective to be the provision of continuoussurveillance of "preselected areas of the earth" in order "to determinethe status of a potential enemy's warmaking capability."9 Over the next five years the U.S. reconnaissance satellite program evolvedin a variety of ways. The success of the Soviet Union's Sputnik I and IIsatellites in the fall of 1957 provided a spur to all U.S. space programs- as any success could be used in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union.In the case of U.S. reconnaissance programs, Sputnik provided a secondincentive. The clear implications of the Sputnik launches for Soviet ICBMdevelopment increased the pressure on discovering the extent of Sovietcapabilities - something that the sporadic U-2 flights could only do ina limit...
The GAMBIT program provided an important complement to CORONA. Initiatedin 1960, it yielded the first "close-look" or "spotting" satellite. Theemphasis of GAMBIT operations, which commenced in 1963 and continued throughpart of 1984, was to produce high-resolution imagery on specific targets(rather than general areas). Such resolution would allow the productionof more detailed intelligence, particularly technical intelligence on foreignweapons systems. The first GAMBIT camera, the KH-7, could produce photoswith about 18 inch resolution, while the second and last model, the KH-8was capable of producing photographs with under 6 inch resolution.18 While the Air Force concentrated on the high-resolution systems, theCIA (after numerous bureaucratic battles) was assigned responsibility forthe next generation area surveillance program. That program, which cameto be designated HEXAGON, resulted in satellites carrying the KH-9 camerasystem - capable of producing images covering even more terr...
The advanced KH-11 satellites have a higher orbit than that exhibitedby their predecessors--operating with perigees of about 150 miles and apogeesof about 600 miles. In addition, they also have some additional capabilities.They contain an infrared imagery capability, including a thermal infraredimagery capability, thus permitting imagery during darkness. In addition,the satellites carry the Improved CRYSTAL Metric System (ICMS), which placesthe necessary markings on returned imagery to permit its full exploitationfor mapping purposes. Additionally, the Advanced KH-11 can carry more fuelthan the original model, perhaps 10,000 to 15,000 pounds. This permitsa longer lifetime for the new model--possibly up to eight years.22 A second component of the U.S. space imaging fleet, are satellites developedand deployed under a program first known as INDIGO, then as LACROSSE, andmost recently as VEGA. Rather than employing an electro-optical systemthey carry an imaging radar. The satellites clos...
LANDSATs 4 and 5 operate in 420 mile sun-synchronous orbits and eachcarries a Thematic Mapper (TM), an upgraded version of the MultispectralScanner (MSS) on earlier LANDSATs. A typical LANDSAT images is 111 by 102miles, providing significant broad area coverage. However, the resolutionof the images is approximately 98 feet--making them useful for only thecoarsest intelligence tasks. SPOT, an acronym for Le Systeme Pour l'Observation de la Terre, is operatedby the French national space agency. SPOT 1 was launched in 1986, followedby three additional satellites at approximately four year intervals. SPOTsatellites operate in about 500-mile orbits, and carry two sensor systems.The satellites can return black and white (panchromatic) images with 33foot resolution and multispectral images with 67 foot resolution. The imagesare of higher-resolution than LANDSAT's but cover less territory-- approximately36 miles by 36 miles.28 U.S. intelligence community use of commercial imagery will expan...
- The International Geophysical Year
- The U.S. Contribution
- Then Came Sputnik I
- The U.S. Response
- The Creation of NASA
In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions decided to establish the International Geophysical Year. It wasn't actually a year but rather more like 18 months, set from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Scientists knew that cycles of solar activity would be at a high point at this time. The Council adopted a resolution in October 1954 calling for artificial satellites to be launched during the IGY to map the earth's surface.
The White House announced plans to launch an Earth-orbiting satellite for the IGY in July 1955. The government solicited proposals from various research agencies to undertake development of this satellite. NSC 5520, the Draft Statement of Policy on U.S. Scientific Satellite Program, recommended both the creation of a scientific satellite program as well as the development of satellites for reconnaissance purposes. The National Security Council approved the IGY satellite on May 26, 1955, based on NSC 5520. This event was announced to the public on July 28 during an oral briefing at the White House. The government's statement emphasized that the satellite program was intended to be the U.S. contribution to the IGY and that the scientific data was to benefit scientists of all nations. The Naval Research Laboratory's Vanguard proposal for a satellite was chosen in September 1955 to represent the U.S. during the IGY.
The Sputnik launch changed everything. As a technical achievement, it caught the world's attention and the American public off guard. Its size was more impressive than Vanguard's intended 3.5-pound payload. The public reacted with fear that the Soviets' ability to launch such a satellite would translate to the ability to launch ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons from Europe to the U.S. Then the Soviets struck again: Sputnik II was launched on November 3, carrying a much heavier payload and a dog named Laika.
The U.S. Defense Department responded to the political and public furor over the Sputnik satellites by approving funding for another U.S. satellite project. As a simultaneous alternative to Vanguard, Wernher von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on a satellite that would become known as Explorer. The tide of the space race changed on January 31, 1958, when the U.S. successfully launched Satellite 1958 Alpha, familiarly known as Explorer I. This satellite carried a small scientific payload that eventually discovered magnetic radiation belts around the Earth. These belts were named after principal investigator James Van Allen. The Explorer program continued as a successful ongoing series of lightweight, scientifically-useful spacecraft.
The Sputnik launch also led to the creation of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, commonly called the "Space Act,” in July 1958, and the Space Act created NASA effective October 1, 1958. It joined NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, with other government agencies. NASA went on to do pioneering work in space applications, such as communications satellites, in the 1960s. The Echo, Telstar, Relay, and Syncom satellites were built by NASA or by the private sector based on significant NASA advances. In the 1970s, NASA's Landsat programliterally changed the way we look at our planet. The first three Landsat satellites were launched in 1972, 1975, and 1978. They transmitted complex data streams back to earth that could be converted into colored pictures. Landsat data has been used in a variety of practical commercial applications since then, including crop management and fault line detection. I...
Jun 02, 2015 · "KH" refers to the "Keyhole" code name for satellite camera systems. All three used specially-designed film and cameras to take pictures in orbit. The vehicles on display are among the most important U.S. photo reconnaissance systems used from the 1960s to the 1980s.
- Spy Satellites Developed by The United States of America
- in The U.S.S.R.
- in Other Countries
The story of these spy satellites beginswith a report made in 1954 by RAND Corporation, an American military researchorganization. This study concludes with the feasibility of spy satellites. Onthe basis of this report, the WS-117L reconnaissance satellite program islaunched. We are then in the Cold War period. The United States of America isdeveloping a Lockheed U-2 spy plane, nicknamed “Dragon Lady”. This aircraft will make a first reconnaissance flightover the Soviet Union in 1956. Thereafter, it will continue to be used forreconnaissance missions. In 1957, the Soviet Union succeeded inplacing a first satellite into orbit, it was Sputnik 1. This exploit led theUnited States of America to believe that the U.S.S.R. had numerous missiles anda strong strike power. Lockheed Martin then began the development, under thesupervision of the CIA, of KH-1 reconnaissance satellites. This satellite takesimages which are stored on a photographic film. This photographic film isbrought back by a...
The Soviet Union built and used a lot of spy satellites. The development of its reconnaissance satellites was organized into two main programs: Zenit and Iantar. Launched between 1961 and 1994, the Zenit satellites placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) took photographs which were stored on films. These satellites were equipped with return capsules to send the films with the captured images back to Earth. The capsule was then caught by a plane in mid-flight. The lifespan of Zenit satellites was very limited, a few dozen days, which explains why the U.S.S.R. drew more than six hundred satellites. The Iantar spy satellites, used from 1981 onwards, initially worked with a return capsule system allowing the recovery of films. Then, the following versions of the Iantar satellite allowed the digital transmission of the collected images. Since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., Russia has struggled to develop new reconnaissance satellites at the same pace. However, some new satellites have emerged suc...
France began to develop its first opticalrecognition satellites in the 1980s. The first Helios satellite was launched in 1995. This series of opticalsatellites will be launched until 2009. This satellite will then be replaced bythe Pléiades recognition satellite,launched from 2011 to 2012. This series of satellites has also been replaced bythe optical reconnaissance satellite CSO(Composante Spatiale Optique) launched since 2018. China also has spy satellites. These areoptical and radar reconnaissance satellites. The first reconnaissancesatellite, the FSW (Fanhui ShiWeixing), was launched in 1974. Subsequently, several Yaogan satellites were launched. The LKW-1optical satellites have been operational since 2017. Chinaalso uses wiretapping satellites. Germany has commanded and started deploying its own reconnaissance satellites after the United States of America was reluctant to share information collected by its satellites during the Kosovo war. Still other countries use spy satellit...