Space Military Satellite Photos


Mi Corporal
MI.Net Member
May 22, 2015
The first military use of satellites was for reconnaissance.

In the United States the first formal military satellite programs, Weapon System 117L, was developed in the mid 1950s. Within this program a number of sub-programs were developed including Corona. Satellites within the Corona program carried different code names. The first launches were code named Discoverer. This mission was a series of reconnaissance satellites, designed to enter orbit, take high-resolution photographs and then return the payload to Earth via parachute. Discoverer 1, the first mission, was launched on 28 February 1959

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Photo By National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Public Domain

An illustration of the recovery maneuver used to capture the CORONA film-return bucket.

But then we went digital and took all the fun out of it mil-smile04

Here are more pics of the Corona recovery

Corona Generations
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corona capsule recovery.JPG
Crews working on Virginia’s Eastern Shore this week raised a top secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office — the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency — atop a solid-fueled Minotaur 4 rocket for liftoff July 15 on the first Minotaur launch in nearly three years.

Contained inside the Minotaur’s aerodynamic launch shroud, the NRO payload was craned on top of the Minotaur 4 rocket Thursday on pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The milestone capped assembly of the 78-foot-tall (23.8-meter) Minotaur 4 launcher as teams prepare for avionics checkouts and a mission dress rehearsal.

Workers from Northrop Grumman, the Minotaur rocket’s contractor, will also install ordnance and prepare the rocket for arming.

Launch of the Minotaur 4 rocket is scheduled for July 15 during a window opening at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), officials told Spaceflight Now. The exact duration of the launch window has not been released.

The Minotaur 4’s payload shroud is lifted atop the rocket at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Credit: NRO


A Minotaur 1 rocket launch Nov. 19, 2013, was the last time a rocket lifted off from pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Credit: NASA Wallops/Chris Perry

The GÖKTÜRK-1 contract was signed between Ministry of National Defense Undersecretariat for Defense Industries and TELESPAZIO on 13th July 2009.

Within the program, Turkish Aerospace is performing direct participation to specific work packages and also manufacturing some flight components for the GÖKTÜRK-1 Satellite.

The objective of GÖKTÜRK-1 Program is to procure a satellite with an Electro Optical (EO) payload in order to provide high resolution images from any location in the world for both military and civilian purposes such as forest control, illegal construction, crop management and casualty assessment after natural disasters.

With the GÖKTÜRK-1 Project, not only the national capabilities and resources for the space systems (such as new technologies, experienced manpower and infrastructure) will be developed but also Satellite Assembly Integration Test Center will be used for next generation national satellite programs as a strategic investment.

The GÖKTÜRK-2 Program has been funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and conducted by the Turkish Aerospace & TUBITAK Space team under the coordination of Ministry of National Defense between 2007-2012.

The GÖKTÜRK-2 System and mission have been indigenously designed by Turkish engineers. In the framework of the Project, Turkish Aerospace has performed the following activities regarding the GÖKTÜRK-2 Satellite;

- Structural System design, analysis, manufacturing and test

- Thermal Control System design, analysis, integration and test

- Attitude and Orbit Control System design, integration and test

- System accommodation design

- Harness design, manufacturing and test

- Attitude and Orbit Control interface unit design, manufacturing, qualification, integration and test

- Assembly of all Satellite Models (* 1SQM, 2QM, 3FM)

- Mass properties measurement of all Satellite Models (SQM, QM, FM) at TAI AIT Facilities

- Structural tests (static, vibration, acoustic) of all Satellite Models (SQM, QM, FM)

- Commissioning of the Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVC) established at TAI AIT Facilities

- Thermal tests of the Satellite Qualification Model and Flight Model (at TAI TVC)

- Alignment measurements of the Satellite Models (QM, FM)

- Deployment tests of Solar Panels for the Satellite Models (QM, FM)

- Management of Satellite and Launch Vehicle compatibility

- Separation test of the Satellite (QM)

- Satellite FM integration and functional tests

- Integrated Logistics Support

- Indigenous development of thermal analysis software


Turkey's first High Resolution Remote Sensing Satellite GÖKTÜRK-2 has been transported from Turkish Aerospace (Ankara) to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on November 23, 2012 and launched on December 18, 2012 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China with a LM-2D Launcher. The first signal from GÖKTÜRK-2 has been received at 17:39 (UTC) in the Tromsø Satellite Station, northern Norway. After the completion of the early orbit phase, the images taken by GÖKTÜRK-2 have been received by the ground station in Ankara.

As of December 2018, 2013; GÖKTÜRK-2 completed it's 6th year in space with more than 30.000 passes. The satellite is still under the operation of Turkish Air Forces from Ankara/Turkey Ground Station.

Technical Specifications of the GÖKTÜRK-2 Satellite :

Orbit Sun Synchronous
Altitude ~ 700 km
Period ~ 98 minutes
Daily Ground Station Contact ~ 40 minutes (day + night)
Coverage Global Coverage
Revisit Time Average 2,5 days
Mass < 409 kg.
Image Storage Capacity 8 GB + 32 GB (scientific)
Resolution (PAN) 2,5 m
Resolution (MS) 5,0 m
Life Time 5 year



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