Jim's right, but Arch has the right overall point--there was very little backup/spares for U.S. reconsats. I have some documents about holding a "crisis satellite" in reserve for launch, but that was a contingency action, not a backup in case the Soviets blew one up. From everything I've seen, there really were not reserve satellites; as soon as they were complete they were sent to the pad. That's certainly true for the really big ones like the 9 and 11.
The early KH- were based on an Agena, and an Agena was able to drag a 8000 pounds Gemini capsule above 700 miles. What I mean is, as a rocket stage the Agena could do large orbital manoeuvers. Could the KH- do that ?
You should include Corona. There was discussion of using Corona for NASA missions.Also UPWARD.And there was a connection between the Apollo Panoramic Camera and the cameras developed for the U-2/SR-71. But that story has not been fully told.And although you seem to be focusing on hardware, there's a big policy component as well, such as NRO use of the shuttle. And then operational issues too, like using a KH-11 to image STS-1/Columbia.
Is this the fist time that the NRO has officially stated that KH-8 was capable of resolutions of anything other than "better-than-two-feet" when on the NRO's GAMBIT reconaissance system handbook new web page states that "and the follow-on, Gambit Cubed (KH-8), provided even higher resolution images in the "better-than-one-foot" category"?
1) Who or what is BIF-008?
I'm still stunned that any of this is being released in this much detail. Hell, I still freak out seeing B/TK codewords in the open. Thanks for doing some outstanding out and bringing some of the stuff I used to work with out into the light.