Author Topic: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite  (Read 364777 times)

Offline Targeteer

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

Offline Targeteer

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

Offline Emmettvonbrown

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #842 on: 04/09/2024 03:32 pm »
Must have been booster 7L - that almost made it to 1st stage separation on November 23 of the same year.

https://premium.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2004/soviet-manned-lunar-milestones.htm

« Last Edit: 04/09/2024 06:21 pm by Emmettvonbrown »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #843 on: 04/10/2024 01:16 am »
Must have been booster 7L - that almost made it to 1st stage separation on November 23 of the same year.

https://premium.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2004/soviet-manned-lunar-milestones.htm



Probably not. The shape is at a building associated with the Gagarin/Soyuz pad, what the CIA designated as Complex A. The N1 was assembled at a building several miles away, designated Complex J by the CIA. No way to get there from here.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2024 01:23 am by Blackstar »

Online LittleBird

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #844 on: 04/10/2024 01:46 am »
Must have been booster 7L - that almost made it to 1st stage separation on November 23 of the same year.

https://premium.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2004/soviet-manned-lunar-milestones.htm



Probably not. The shape is at a building associated with the Gagarin/Soyuz pad, what the CIA designated as Complex A. The N1 was assembled at a building several miles away, designated Complex J by the CIA. No way to get there from
here.

As another possibility what would an enshrouded Zond lunar spacecraft look like? And where were they processed? I realise the launcher was a Proton variant but the Zond spacecraft was a Soyuz variant.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #845 on: 04/10/2024 02:19 am »
As another possibility what would an enshrouded Zond lunar spacecraft look like? And where were they processed? I realise the launcher was a Proton variant but the Zond spacecraft was a Soyuz variant.

Date is 1972. Too late for Zond.

Offline Emmettvonbrown

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #846 on: 04/10/2024 06:47 am »
Quote
July 8 1972

Let's call this fellow to the rescue...

Proton did not launched that much in the early 1970's (dismal reliability did not helped). So there are very few candidates..

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_fam/proton.htm
Quote
37     4   Proton-K                260-01  29.07.1972 F  Ba LC-81/23     Salyut (2) (DOS 2)

But it might be a R-7, so -

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_fam/r-7.htm

Quote
448     2   Soyuz-M              Kh15000-002      13.07.1972    Pl LC-43/4       Kosmos 502 (Zenit-4MT #2, Orion #2)
 449   191   Voskhod            78033-267        19.07.1972    Pl LC-43/3       Kosmos 503 (Zenit-4M #39, Rotor #39)
 450   192   Voskhod            7702421-143      28.07.1972    Pl LC-43/4       Kosmos 512 (Zenit-2M #30, Gektor #30)
 451   193   Voskhod            78033-266        02.08.1972    Ba LC-31/6       Kosmos 513 (Zenit-4M #40, Rotor #40)
 452   194   Voskhod            7702424-718      18.08.1972    Pl LC-43/4       Kosmos 515 (Zenit-4MK #8, Germes #8)
 453   195   Voskhod            7702421-144      30.08.1972    Ba LC-31/6       Kosmos 517 (Zenit-2M #31, Gektor #31)
 454   196   Voskhod           78033-271        02.09.1972 F  Pl LC-43/4       Kosmos (518) (Zenit-4M #41, Rotor #41)
 455   197   Voskhod            78033-156        15.09.1972    Pl LC-43/4       Kosmos 518 (Zenit-2M #32, Gektor #32)
 456   198   Voskhod            78033-268        16.09.1972    Ba LC-31/6       Kosmos 519 (Zenit-4M #42, Rotor #42)

Zenit were Soviet spysats: so a spysat was staring at another spysat ?
« Last Edit: 04/10/2024 06:52 am by Emmettvonbrown »

Offline harrystranger

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #847 on: 04/10/2024 08:12 am »
It would be great if we could get to the bottom of what this is as I'd like to correct what I shared online  :)

If it helps, the object measures about 41 meters in length and 5-6 meters at its widest point.

Online edzieba

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #848 on: 04/10/2024 11:17 am »
It's probably not a Zenit-on-Soyuz or early prep of Kosmos 573 (Soyuz 7K-T test) stack. Those had a consistent diameter from the core stage LOX tank up to the short conical top of the fairing, with no LES tower (for the Zonds) or the early 'stubby' tower (7K-T). The object poking out of the hanger has reducing diameter for a significant length and a long LES-tower-like protrusion. The silhouette at least is a closer match to the N-1 than an R-7 derived vehicle. It would also match a Proton-K with a Zond, but the last Zond had already flown nearly two years prior, and the Proton complex is MUCH further to the north-west with no direct rail links. It's possible a 'Zond 9' may have at one point been stacked but never flown, but that seems less likely to have been done at Site 1 than at the normal Proton complex hangers. It seems more reasonable to be using a nearby hanger for N-1 overflow work, and then move by rail to the N-1 integration hanger - there are rail lines that extend from the Site 1 hanger to both the N-1 launch complex (with crossovers that would allow a double-back to the hanger) and to the hanger directly, but at a 90 angle.

Offline Targeteer

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #849 on: 04/10/2024 02:42 pm »
It would be great if we could get to the bottom of what this is as I'd like to correct what I shared online  :)

If it helps, the object measures about 41 meters in length and 5-6 meters at its widest point.

My apologies for stirring up a hornet's nest with your work.  :)
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Online LittleBird

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #850 on: 04/10/2024 02:46 pm »
It's probably not a Zenit-on-Soyuz or early prep of Kosmos 573 (Soyuz 7K-T test) stack. Those had a consistent diameter from the core stage LOX tank up to the short conical top of the fairing, with no LES tower (for the Zonds) or the early 'stubby' tower (7K-T). The object poking out of the hanger has reducing diameter for a significant length and a long LES-tower-like protrusion. The silhouette at least is a closer match to the N-1 than an R-7 derived vehicle. It would also match a Proton-K with a Zond, but the last Zond had already flown nearly two years prior, and the Proton complex is MUCH further to the north-west with no direct rail links. It's possible a 'Zond 9' may have at one point been stacked but never flown, but that seems less likely to have been done at Site 1 than at the normal Proton complex hangers.

Out of curiosity, if the last N-1 had succeeded, do we have any idea what was supposed to happen next ? Would some kind of  manned qualifier have been needed on a Proton ? Or were they just trying to keep the N-1 going with no very clear plan. This seems relevant to what we (or an analyst in 1972) can infer about this ?

Your arguments below seem cogent to me about N-1 vs Proton, I am just curious.

Quote
It seems more reasonable to be using a nearby hanger for N-1 overflow work, and then move by rail to the N-1 integration hanger - there are rail lines that extend from the Site 1 hanger to both the N-1 launch complex (with crossovers that would allow a double-back to the hanger) and to the hanger directly, but at a 90 angle.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #851 on: 04/10/2024 04:25 pm »
It's probably not a Zenit-on-Soyuz or early prep of Kosmos 573 (Soyuz 7K-T test) stack. Those had a consistent diameter from the core stage LOX tank up to the short conical top of the fairing, with no LES tower (for the Zonds) or the early 'stubby' tower (7K-T). The object poking out of the hanger has reducing diameter for a significant length and a long LES-tower-like protrusion. The silhouette at least is a closer match to the N-1 than an R-7 derived vehicle. It would also match a Proton-K with a Zond, but the last Zond had already flown nearly two years prior, and the Proton complex is MUCH further to the north-west with no direct rail links. It's possible a 'Zond 9' may have at one point been stacked but never flown, but that seems less likely to have been done at Site 1 than at the normal Proton complex hangers.

Out of curiosity, if the last N-1 had succeeded, do we have any idea what was supposed to happen next ? Would some kind of  manned qualifier have been needed on a Proton ? Or were they just trying to keep the N-1 going with no very clear plan. This seems relevant to what we (or an analyst in 1972) can infer about this ?

Asif Siddiqi is best qualified to speculate on that.

But there is a dedicated N1 thread.

Offline Emmettvonbrown

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #852 on: 04/10/2024 06:38 pm »
N1-L3M = Mishin revamped lunar plan. They had a plan to launch N1-8L in August 1974, a much improved N1F model with N1-L3 residuals: hopefully a complete LOK-LK stack to the lunar surface, perhaps meeting a  Lunokhod there.
http://www.astronautix.com/l/l3m.html
That plan ran on Soviet bureaucratic inertia until August 1974 when Glushko tookover OKB-1 and merged it with his engine shop.
Only to carry on with LEK (more lunar plans)  until February 1976, when Mir & Buran decrees were published. Shuttle + Station was a go, only 4 years after Nixon decision (January 5, 1972).

Readily agree it is not the right thread.
« Last Edit: 04/10/2024 06:44 pm by Emmettvonbrown »

Offline Targeteer

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #853 on: 05/21/2024 01:07 am »
Great series of tweets with images and data on the KH-9 display.  https://x.com/coastal8049/status/1792579282654449683
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Blackstar

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Re: KH-9 HEXAGON Reconnaissance Satellite
« Reply #854 on: 05/21/2024 02:41 am »
Great series of tweets with images and data on the KH-9 display.  https://x.com/coastal8049/status/1792579282654449683

They moved it again. Last year it was on the other side of the aisle--maybe 30 feet over. But the more important thing is that the KH-7 GAMBIT-1 is still missing. Was on display for years and then they removed it and I assume it is in storage somewhere. With that one missing and the Smithsonian's GAMBIT not viewable while they do renovations, there are no GAMBITs on public display.

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