The HEXAGON satellite spied on America's Cold War foes for over a decade, taking extremely detailed (film!) photographs from space. It was 60 feet long—bigger than a bus. And the public never, ever saw it. We did.
To celebrate its 50th birthday, the top secret satellite operators at the National Reconnaissance Office gave the public a little present: full access to a real life HEXAGON at National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia—filled largely with nostalgic old spies and space engineers. So of course we checked it out. The enormity of the thing is stunning, as is its complexity. [View as single page]