KH-6 Lanyard

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Codenamed Lanyard, the KH-6 was the unsuccessful first attempt to develop and deploy a high-resolution optical reconnaissance satellite by the United States National Reconnaissance Office.[1] Launches and launch attempts spanned the period from March to July 1963. The project was quickly put together to get imagery of a site near Tallinn suspected of having anti-ballistic missiles. The satellite carried Itek's "E-5" camera developed for the Samos program, which had been cancelled. The camera had a focal length of 1.67 meters (66 inches) and could discern objects on the ground 1.8 m (6 ft) in size. The ground swath of the camera was 14 km by 74 km (9 mi by 46 mi). The satellite weighed 1500 kg, and had a single re-entry vehicle in which exposed film was returned to earth for a mid-air[2] aircraft recovery. The KH-6 was manufactured by Lockheed and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Thor-AgenaD rockets.

Three launch attempts were made. One attempt failed and another did not use any film.

The film canister contained over 2,250 feet of film with 910 photographic frames.[2]


(NSSDC ID Numbers: See COSPAR)

See also[edit]


  • Mark Wade (August 9, 2003). KH-6. Encyclopedia Astronautica. Accessed April 23, 2004.
  1. ^ "NRO review and redaction guide (2006 ed.)". National Reconnaissance Office. 
  2. ^ a b Federation of American Scientists FASorg: KH-6

Concurrent operational projects[edit]

External links[edit]