Light Map of SW United States

A really lovely, slightly glitchy satellite map of lights over the southwest United States. Taken on August 31, 2000 and found buried deep in the NOAA FTP server.

Hexagon Spy Satellite

The “Hexagon” spy satellite, deployed via Titan rocket in 1971.  According to this fascinating article in Wired this morning, the satellite was to return high-resolution film.  When the parachute failed to open, the module crashed into the Pacific Ocean and sunk 16,000 feet.  After a year-long recovery effort, the film succumbed to the elements and disintegrated when it reached the surface.

As I’ve posted before, I’m fascinated by the geometry and design of space equipment (and I think “Secret Hexagon” would be a great band name).

Via: Wired