KH-7 23 (Gambit-1 23) & Auroral

Launch Time
Mon Nov 08, 1965 19:30 UTC


Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D
Image Credit: USAF or NASA
General Dynamics
Status: Retired
Payload to LEO: 1,825 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 0

Mission Details

KH-7 23 (Gambit-1 23)

KH-7 (Keyhole 7) managed by NRO's Program A and operated this US Air Force system boasted long focal length cameras capable of identifying and measuring properties of targets such as missiles and aircraft, surpassing the resolution of the CORONA system. The spacecraft, a 3-axis-stabilized satellite separated from the Agena-D, housed the payload, camera system, and reentry vehicle (SRV), known as the OCV (Orbital Control Vehicle), built by General Electric. The KH-7 camera featured a 112 cm diameter primary mirror and achieved ground resolutions ranging from 0.61 m to 0.91 m, utilizing strip exposure techniques for capturing images with a swath width of 22 km and strip lengths of up to 741 km from its 167-kilometer orbit.

Low Earth Orbit


These payloads are non disclosed payloads mounted as a piggy-back payload on the aft racks of Agena-D stages.


SLC-4E, Vandenberg SFB, California, USA



101st orbital launch attempt


62nd mission
14th mission of 1965
46th successful mission
1st consecutive successful mission