For all the Pentagon's crowing about its success in with a missile last week, it's had very little to say about the satellite itself. But then, those Defense Department types aren't in the habit of giving away details about classified projects.
One thing we do know is that the satellite was flying under the auspices of the U.S. government's . As it turns out, the NRO has been overseeing spy satellites for a half-century now. Its early efforts were declassified in the mid-1990s, and the grainy picture you see on this page is what the NRO describes as the "first imagery" taken by its once highly secret Corona satellite; it shows the Mys Shmidta Air Field in the Soviet Union on August 18, 1960.
(As for last week's , the Pentagon on Monday said it's confident that the worrisome hydrazine fuel tank had been destroyed--"reducing risk to people on Earth." Some 3,000 remaining pieces, all said to be smaller than a football, are being tracked; when it was whole, the satellite weighed about 5,000 pounds.)
Caption text by CNET News.com's Jonathan Skillings.
February 26, 2008 6:00 AM PST
Photo by: National Reconnaissance Office
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