Goodrich Corporation (NYSE:GR) was a platinum sponsor of the September 17, 2011 event at which the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) revealed the cold war classified satellite HEXAGON, known as KH-9. Over 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
Two legacy organizations that supported the HEXAGON mission now form part of Goodrich's ISR Systems business. The facility in Danbury, Conn. was established to develop, build and test the major imaging payloads, providing over 20 HEXAGON systems, with the last delivered in 1983. An adjunct imaging payload was built by Itek, also now a part of Goodrich.
Andreas Nonnenmacher, vice president for Goodrich ISR Systems Space & Defense Solutions said, "The accomplishments and contributions of former and current employees were vital to this foundational national security program, and with the declassification of HEXAGON, their efforts can finally be acknowledged."
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.
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