RECONNAISSANCE

Satellites

Articles

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Richelson, Jeffrey T. "From JAM SESSION to the PFIAB: Albert Wheelon and U.S. Intelligence." Intelligencer 20, no. 2 (Fall-Winter 2013): 23-31.

Albert D. "Bud" Wheelon died on 27 September 2013. Here, the author outlines Wheelon's role in the development of and direction of the CIA's DS&T.

Richelson, Jeffrey T.

1. "From Corona to Lacrosse: A Short History of Satellites." Washington Post, 25 Feb. 1990, B1, B4.

2. "The Future of Space Reconnaissance." Scientific American 264, no. 1 (1991): 38-44.

3. "The Keyhole Satellite Program." Journal of Strategic Studies 7, no. 2 (1984): 121-153.

4. "A 'Rifle' in Space." Air Force Magazine 86, no. 6 (Jun. 2003): 72-75. [http://www.afa.org]

On 12 July 1963, an Atlas/Agena D rocket from Vandenberg AFB placed the first KH-7 satellite in orbit 100 miles above the Earth. The satellite weighed about 4,500 pounds and carried "a camera system..., a single recovery vehicle in which ... film would be returned to Earth for analysis, and command and communications equipment." The images produced were "far sharper" than those from the existing Corona system, operating since 1960.

The KH-7 was "developed under a highly secret program code-named Gambit." The U.S. Air Force's "special projects office was responsible for delivering the finished satellite. However, a contractor team ... conduct[ed] the actual research, development, and production work. General Electric ... produced the spacecraft body, while Eastman Kodak ... develop[ed] the camera system. Lockheed was the integrator, responsible for putting together the whole package."

In four years of operation, there were 38 KH-7 launches. "[S]ome 19,000 frames of varying length,... 43,000 feet of film," were returned to Earth. "In contrast, the Corona satellites over their 12 years of operation ... return[ed] more than 800,000 frames." The KH-7 "was truly a close-look system. [Its] perigee (the point of the orbit on which a spacecraft comes closest to Earth) averaged 92 miles in altitude, although on one mission it came within 75 miles....The time on orbit was short -- on average 5.5 days and never longer than eight days."

The last KH-7 satellite was orbited on 4 June 1967.

5. "The Satellite Gap." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 59, no. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 2003): 49-54.

6. "Satellite in the Shadows." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 61, no. 3 (May-Jun. 2005): 26-33.

Rip, Michael Russell, and Joseph F. Fontanella. "A Window on the Arab-Israeli 'Yom Kippur' War of October 1973: Military Photo-Reconnaissance from High Altitude and Space." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 15-89.

Robinson, Clarence A., Jr.

1. "Commercial Satellites Bolster National Intelligence Imagery." Signal, May 1997, 21 ff. [http://www.us.net/signal]

2. "Vital Spy Satellites Protect National Security Interests." Signal, Apr. 1997, 40-43.

Ross, William A. [LTC/USAF]

1. "Space Support to the Warrior: The Intelligence Professional's Responsibility." American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 2 (Autumn/Winter 1994): 72-76.

2. "Space Support to the Warfighter." Military Intelligence 21, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1995): 23-25, 53.

Ruffner, Kevin C. "CORONA and the Intelligence Community: Declassification's Great Leap Forward." Studies in Intelligence 39, no. 5 (1996): 61-69.

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