Aside

Too much Corona, a Discoverer’s tale seen through the Keyhole

I just came upon this article from the Discovery Channel, and it tickled some memory cells.

Back when we just started lobbing imagery satellites up into low earth orbit, we didn’t have the comprehensive ground systems and bandwidth of today.  There was no such thing as a digital camera to be used as a payload.  For nearly 13 years instead, there was film, a satellite publicly called Discoverer, and a very secret program called Corona.

“WAIT!”, you might exclaim, “FILM–YOU MUST BE JOKING.  HOW DID THEY GET IT BACK?  SPACE MONKEYS?”

Well, space monkeys are fantastic, but there is another way.  An old-fashioned crazy way, starting in 1959.  For you Thunderball fans out there, it’s almost the same sort of retrieval (not quite, different airplane, different hook system).  Please read the article–there’s even a video for you there.

Advertisements

2 responses to “Too much Corona, a Discoverer’s tale seen through the Keyhole

  1. Pingback: Why space matters: Imaging satellite operations, part 13—sweeping the Earth’s surface with pixels | The Mad Spaceball

  2. Pingback: Curious about spy satellites? Now there’s an app for that! | The Mad Spaceball

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s