Author Topic: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite  (Read 165099 times)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #600 on: 05/01/2017 03:30 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today. Curious in that I thought they had farmed this particular mission out to the commercial sector.

Maybe they thought it was better to buy one off the shelf compared to constantly paying Digital Globe, etal... Also, less chance of another snowden leaking a list of what images the NRO paid to acquire.

That said, 50ish degrees is interesting when synced up with the sun correctly. In some areas, each day allows for two good nadir daylight passes, with multiple slant passes.  Just saying... if done right, it would be good for multiple passes, multiple times a day over the Mid East or North Korea.
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Offline Star One

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KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #601 on: 05/01/2017 03:37 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today. Curious in that I thought they had farmed this particular mission out to the commercial sector.

Maybe they thought it was better to buy one off the shelf compared to constantly paying Digital Globe, etal... Also, less chance of another snowden leaking a list of what images the NRO paid to acquire.

That said, 50ish degrees is interesting when synced up with the sun correctly. In some areas, each day allows for two good nadir daylight passes, with multiple slant passes.  Just saying... if done right, it would be good for multiple passes, multiple times a day over the Mid East or North Korea.

I wonder if there's any relation as well to the KH-11 fleet currently allegedly being understrength. According to speculation I've read they normally keep two in each relevant orbital plane, but at the moment they've only got three altogether on orbit (two on west and one on east). When they last replenished the fleet they only put one in each orbital plane.

This is the latest on the KH-11s.

https://sattrackcam.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/usa-186-recovered.html?m=1
« Last Edit: 05/01/2017 04:19 PM by Star One »

Offline Jim

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #602 on: 05/01/2017 04:21 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today.

I wouldn't say that

Offline Star One

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KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #603 on: 05/01/2017 04:23 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today.

I wouldn't say that

As posited above I suppose if they had a particular country (i.e. North Korea) they wanted to keep more of an eye on.

Just waiting for the threats to shoot it down....
« Last Edit: 05/01/2017 05:46 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #604 on: 05/01/2017 05:52 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today.

I wouldn't say that

As posited above I suppose if they had a particular country (i.e. North Korea) they wanted to keep more of an eye on.

Just waiting for the threats to shoot it down....
A 51 degree orbit provides pretty good cover for most of the hot spots in the world today... The only major hotspot areas not well covered will be the Crimea and Eastern Europe.
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Offline Star One

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #605 on: 05/01/2017 06:36 PM »
A bit OT but I find it curious that the NRO appear to have launched a tactical reconnaissance satellite today.

I wouldn't say that

As posited above I suppose if they had a particular country (i.e. North Korea) they wanted to keep more of an eye on.

Just waiting for the threats to shoot it down....
A 51 degree orbit provides pretty good cover for most of the hot spots in the world today... The only major hotspot areas not well covered will be the Crimea and Eastern Europe.

Do you expect any further similar payloads to be launched or would you think this is a one off for now?

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #606 on: 05/11/2017 09:48 PM »
Phil Pressel, who designed the KH-9 HEXAGON camera system, now has a blog:

https://www.hexagonkh9.com/blog/2017/4/3/what-was-hexagon-kh-9


Offline Kansan52

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #607 on: 05/11/2017 10:02 PM »
Great blog!

Offline Targeteer

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #608 on: 05/11/2017 10:13 PM »
Another great shot of a Hexagon launch.  Not sure if it's been previously released.

https://www.facebook.com/NationalReconnaissanceOffice/photos/a.1544403572457698.1073741828.1442712095960180/1977229739175077/?type=3&theater

On May 11, 1982, the National Reconnaissance Office successfully launched Hexagon 17, Mission #1217, from 30th Space Wing (Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.), aboard a Titan III-D booster (pictured). Mission #1217 was the first Hexagon satellite to operate for over 200 days (208 total), surpassing the previous record of 161 days by more than 25%.

Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #609 on: 05/14/2017 03:49 PM »
Phil Pressel, who designed the KH-9 HEXAGON camera system, now has a blog:

https://www.hexagonkh9.com/blog/2017/4/3/what-was-hexagon-kh-9

Thanks for the link. Already a fair bit of info on there and all nicely presented.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #610 on: 08/08/2017 10:10 PM »
This book is a printing of one of the NRO's declassified HEXAGON histories. I've lost track, but I think there are four declassified HEXAGON histories:

-The HEXAGON Story
-Perry's volume on HEXAGON (which only goes to 1973)
-the mapping camera history (which has some good material)
-this other one

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1521084874/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Normally I'm not a fan of people reprinting stuff that is already free and in the public domain (years ago somebody took a whole bunch of essays that I wrote for a government website and slapped their own name on them), but this actually appears to be a worthwhile effort. They re-typeset the original. I have not read it to see how good the optical reading of the original was (i.e. are there a lot of typos?), and I note that the title of one of their other publications, "Defense's Nuclear Agency," indicates that they're sloppy. But it is a decent printing job. The images in the book are all taken from the photocopy, so the quality is not great. That said, it is a decent print job, and if you would rather read this history from a book instead of a computer screen or a stack of copy paper, then this is what you should do. For $15, it's a good deal.

As for the history itself, my friend Phil Pressel (who was one of the key designers of the HEXAGON's camera system and has written a book about that) thinks that this is a very good history.

The publisher has a bunch of other NRO titles. You can download pdfs of them for free if you know where to find them.

Offline Star One

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #611 on: 08/09/2017 08:15 AM »
It also ships to the UK sometimes these self print books don't ship outside the US.

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