Collection Item Summary:
This is the second film return capsule recovered on May 25, 1972 from the last CORONA photoreconnaissance satellite mission. Developed by the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency, the CORONA satellites were designed primarily to furnish imagery of the Soviet Union that manned aircraft could not provide for various reasons. The film in the cameras was reeled onto the spools in these capsules, the capsules separated from the rest of the satellite and reentered the atmosphere, and after the heat shield was jettisoned a parachute deployed that enabled an Air Force plane to gather in the capsule. From August 1960 to May 1972, there were more than 120 successful CORONA missions that provided invaluable intelligence on the Soviet Union and other nations. General Electric made this capsule, and the National Reconnaissance Office transferred it to NASM in 1995.