Friday, March 29, 2013

Examining a Cold War Artifact

Corona’s parachute and capsule are on now on permanent display
by Bruce J.

The first successful recovery of the film capsule of a Corona (spy satellite) capsule was made on August 15, 1960, south of Oahu, Hawaii. The parachute and capsule were flown to Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Sunnyvale, California. Fellow engineer Matts Lindgren and I were tasked to "damage chart" the parachute. We had no parachute table, so we were sequestered (to protect against souvenir seekers) in the executive conference room in Building 104. Utilizing the long conference table, we completed the analysis, and the parachute and capsule were immediately flown to the White House for President Eisenhower's inspection. This parachute and capsule are now in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.