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Program: Discoverer

USAF program: 38 satellites launched between 28 Feb 1959 and 27 Feb 1962

It seems that all Discoverers beginning with number 14 are KH spysats. See Thor Agena listing for the launches.

A second version of this program started in 1998 by a call for proposals (the idea is a constellation of radar/spy satellites for worldwide coverage; with SAR in X-band, 770 km). The program is managed by Darpa, USAF and the NRO. The project winner should be designated in june 2000. 2 demonstrations satellites should then be launched. The full system should consist of 24 satellites costing each less than $100 million. The total cost of exploitation over 20 years is targeted at $6.5 billion. The first phase of the program will be carried out by Lockheed Martin, TRW and Spectrum Astro. Each contract is woth $10 million. Planned resolution: 10 m standard with max 30 cm. 25 second repetition. The satellite would relay via GEO satellites.

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