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Corona Film Return Capsule Gallery


The sign accompanying the Corona film return capsule. It reads

Developed by the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, Corona photoreconnaissance satellites were designed mainly to obtain images of the Soviet Union that manned aircraft could not. The film in a Corona camera was reeled onto a spool in a capsule like this one, which then separated from the satellite and reentered Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. The capsule deployed a parachute, which enabled an Air Force airplane to retrieve it by snagging it in mid-air. General Electric manufactured the capsules.

From 1960 to 1972, more than 120 successful Corona missions provided invaluable intelligence on the Soviet Union and other nations. This capsule was recovered on May 25, 1972, at the end of the last Corona mission. Modern photoreconnaissance satellites return their images electronically.

Transferred from the National Reconnaissance Office


Corona Film Return Capsule at Udvar-Hazy Center
Time picture taken Sun Jun 19 15:12:44 2011
Location picture taken Ground Level
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Udvar Hazy Center
Chantilly, VA
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