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  9/17: Declassified satellite at Udvar-Hazy Center

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Author Topic:   9/17: Declassified satellite at Udvar-Hazy Center
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-13-2011 08:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum release
One-day-only Viewing Opportunity of Declassified Satellite

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and the National Reconnaissance Office will be hosting a one-day-only viewing opportunity of the newly declassified HEXAGON (KH-9) satellite in the parking lot of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Saturday, Sept. 17. This is the first time the public will be able to view this impressive spacecraft, and it will be the only opportunity to see it in the Washington area for some time.

Sixty feet long and ten feet in diameter, the HEXAGONs were the largest spy satellites the United States has ever placed in space. The satellites took photographs of the Soviet Union and other targets around the world from 1971 to the early 1980s.

The one-day (10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) display is in conjunction with the NRO’s 50th anniversary celebration, which includes an invitation-only event later that evening.

According to The Space Review, following this one-day display, the satellite will be moved to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-17-2011 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The KH-9 satellite was one of the recon satellites developed by the NRO during the Cold War. As such, if you are in the area you might want to go and take a look as these things very rarely ever get displayed to the public! And take lots of photos if you do!

DChudwin
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Posts: 972
From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 09-17-2011 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The KH-9 satellite was also known as "Big Bird." Earlier reconnaissance satellites used film which was returned to earth in capsules ejected from the main satellite periodically. Later satellites used CCDs and electro-optics which allowed real-time transmission of photos to ground stations. Some of the technology in the cell phone camera you use today was developed for these missions.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-17-2011 01:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos tweeted by Jeff Foust, editor of The Space Review:
A model of a KH-9 HEXAGON at the Udvar-Hazy Center:

KH-9 mapping camera on display:

KH-9 reentry capsule to return exposed film to earth:

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-18-2011 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SPACE.com
Declassified spysat exhibit reveals rare look at Cold War space program

Twenty-five years after their Cold War-era missions ended, two clandestine U.S. satellite programs were declassified Saturday (Sept. 17), with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) unveiling three of the United States' most closely guarded assets: the KH-7 GAMBIT, the KH-8 GAMBIT 3 and the KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellites.

The vintage NRO satellites were displayed to the public Saturday during a one-day-only exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The three spacecraft were the centerpiece of the NRO's invitation-only 50th anniversary gala celebration held at the center later that evening...

gleopold
Member

Posts: 30
From: Reston, VA, USA
Registered: Jun 2010

posted 09-22-2011 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gleopold   Click Here to Email gleopold     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's John Pike's GlobalSecurity.org KH-9 coverage.

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