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Post Info TOPIC: KH-9 Hexagon satellite


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Declassified Photos Reveal CIA's Deep-Sea Rescue of a Spy Satellite

Only July 10, 1971, America's newest photo reconnaissance satellite, the KH-9 Hexagon, dropped a capsule loaded with film toward the Earth. The re-entry vehicle was supposed to open its parachute; an American aircraft would snatch it out of the sky in mid-descent. But the chute was never unfurled. The re-entry vehicle hit the Pacific Ocean with a force of approximately 2,600 G's. And then it sunk down into the deep, before settling at 16,000 feet.
Shortly thereafter, officials from the U.S. Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency decided to go after the Hexagon capsule, using America's most advanced deep-sea exploration vehicle, the Trieste II.

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U.S. surveillance satellite, now declassified, gets a public showing in Virginia

The Big Bird, formally known as the KH-9 Hexagon satellite, was first placed in orbit in 1971 after its development by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), making it one of the most advanced spy satellites of its time. It is believed to have produced images of the Soviet Union, China and other countries that held strategic importance for the U.S. government through the Cold War. But it was never seen outside the intelligence community.
This weekend, it will be available for all in the Washington area to see, but only for one day.

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