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October 4th, 2011

Goodrich... HEXAGON Hides No More (Satellite)

[SatNews] This massive NRO satellite, built by the Company, was recently declassified...

Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR) was a platinum sponsor of the September 17, 2011, event at which the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) revealed to the public the cold war classified satellite HEXAGON, known as KH-9. More than 60 feet long and 10 feet in diameter, HEXAGON was often referred to as 'Big Bird'. HEXAGON, as large as a school bus and carrying 60 miles of high resolution photographic film for space surveillance missions, could capture on each frame of imagery a width of terrain 400 miles wide, equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington D.C. The satellite took photographs around the world from 1971 to the mid-1980s

The massive KH-9 Hexagon spy satellite on display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, after being declassified on Sept. 17, 2011. Longer than a school bus at 60 feet in length and weighing 30,000 pounds at launch, 20 KH-9 Hexagons were launched by the National Reconnaissance Office between 1971 and 1986.
CREDIT: Roger Guillemette/SPACE.com

Two legacy organizations that supported the HEXAGON mission now form part of Goodrich's ISR Systems business. The facility in Danbury, Connecticut, was established to develop, build and test the major imaging payloads, providing more than 20 HEXAGON systems, with the last delivered in 1983. An adjunct imaging payload was built by Itek, also now a part of Goodrich. Recent Goodrich space programs include: the ORS-1 satellite to provide operational support to combatant command, optical systems for Japanese Earth Observatory satellites, numerous satellite attitude determination and control systems and mission-critical electronics for a variety of satellite buses and launch vehicles. Goodrich has also supported multiple scientific missions in space including contributions to the refurbishment of the Hubble Space Telescope's fine guidance sensors.