Saturday, September 17, 2011

KH-9 Spy Satellite, Photos From Today's Exhibition

Update (11:00 PM ET)!  Apparently most (all?) of the images were not visible.  Here's a GREAT article (with photos) one of my friends just sent me re this unusual exhibition of the KH-9 spy satelite:

I'll try to fix the below pictures anyway.


Something interesting came up yesterday and today that caught my attention (and so took some of my time).  The Washington Post had an article that said that the previously TOP SECRET / TK "KH-9" imagery satellite would be on display for ONE DAY ONLY (today, Sat., Sept. 17).

I emailed many of my friends and family and was pleased to see that our daughter and her boyfriend went to see it!  This satellite was very valued among imagery analysts because it could take pictures of LARGE AREAS of interest.  Even if the imagery was not of the very high quality of the satellite before and the satellite after (all of that information, AFAIK, remains Top Secret).

Anyway, here are some pictures from the Air & Space Museum's annex in Chantilly, VA hosting the exhibition:

This satellite was affectionately known as the Big Bird, it measured some 60 feet long and 10 feet in diameter.  This was considered extremely advanced technology even in the early 1980s when I got to look at the imagery.

Oh, do I wish I could have a "Hall Pass" to troll through current imagery...

I asked them to let me know if they saw nosy Russians or Chinese there taking pictures...  Her boyfriend informed me that there WAS one guy taking detailed photos with a thick foreign accent, wonder what he wanted?


  1. Your images are broken links from over here ... maybe you need to upload them.

  2. Thanks for letting me know, Urban Roman! I got three of them up OK now (I hope).

  3. I wonder why it's being made available for just one day. Seem's like it could go on display at the Smithsonian for a few months run. People love the Spy vs Spy stuff.

  4. I think reconnaissance capabilities are all still pretty highly classified. If you are trying to hide anything in some remote corner of the planet, you'll want to know how well these things can see.
    Otherwise, you just have to assume that they can see everything. That they can read the label on Castro's cigar. At night. When he's facing away from the camera. ... ... etc.


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