This is a model of the type of film return capsule used to return film to Earth from the first generation of U.S. photoreconnaissance satellites. Part of the once-secret Corona project, capsules of this sort returned more than 800,000 images taken by the program's KH-series cameras between August 1960 and May 1972, when the program ended. The capsules were ejected from Agena spacecraft in orbit, reentered the atmosphere, and were retrieved in mid-air by specially-equipped U.S. Air Force planes.
Transferred from the CIA and NRO to the Museum in 1995.
Gift of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.