RECOVERY: "CATCH A FALLING STAR"
all the exposed film had been wound onto the reel, the nose cone
return capsule was ejected at a predetermined time and location.
As the capsule descended to Earth, a heat shield protected it and
a radio beacon indicated its position.
about 18,000 meters (60,000 feet), a parachute deployed and a recovery
aircraft snagged the capsule in mid-air. If the aircraft missed, the
capsule was designed to land in the ocean, float briefly, and then
sink to prevent recovery by the Soviets.
versions of the Corona camera, such as the KH-4B stereo model displayed
here, exposed twice as much film and had two return capsules for
special Air Force unit based in Hawaii, the 6593rd Test Squadron retrieved
the Corona capsules. The squadron flew modified C-119 and C-130 aircraft,
trailing a "trapeze" bar with hooks to snag the capsule's
capsule from Corona 1117, the 122nd and final mission, returned
from orbit on May 25, 1972. Corona has since been replaced by more
advanced reconnaissance satellites that remain classified.
the National Reconnaissance Office