Some Space gossiping

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Back in the 70’s there was a american secret satellite that took pictures called KH-9 Hexagon. The size of a bus, developed by the NRO. I took pictures of the soviets… on a huge film the width of your extended arm. This was back in the analog era. The film had to be mechanically packed on space on a container the size of a washing machine. It had to be de-orbited with small rocket from space to parachute over the Ocean. A plane had to snag the thing and deliver it to a lab, probably on a ship that could develop the film. All top-secret.

Something went wrong on one of the first missions. The plane failed to hook the packet mid-air and the film sunk in the Ocean. Big problem, since the film inside had top-secret information. The Navy had to deliver a top-secret submarine mission to pick up a top-secret canister from the middle of the ocean floor that had top-secret information before no one knew.

How amazing is that?

I had known about it for a few months, but it  was still classified information. Now is not. That story was de-classified earlier this year, and the satellite itself only a few days ago. If you like space or the Cold War, you’ll love the full version of this story.

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