August 19, 1960 – Corona Discoverer XIV reconnaisance camera recovered

The Corona Discoverer XIII satellite was successfully launched on August 10, 1960 without camera and film. Several days later, in secrecy, the Discoverer XIV was launched with camera and film. It was retrieved on August 19, 1960 with pictures captured of key military Soviet targets. The Discoverer XIV camera captured more pictures than 24 U-2 overflights taken between 1956-1960.

Retrieval of Discoverer XIV capsule.

“We’ve spent between $35 and $40 billion on space . . . but if nothing else had come from that program except the knowledge that we get from satellite photography, it would be worth ten times to us what the whole program has cost. Because tonight we know how many missiles the enemy has and, it turned out, our guesses were way off. We were doing things we didn’t need to do. We were building things we didn’t need to build. We were harboring fears we didn’t need to harbor

– President Lyndon B. Johnson, January 1967


~ by tellinghistory on August 19, 2007.

3 Responses to “August 19, 1960 – Corona Discoverer XIV reconnaisance camera recovered”

  1. The photo showing the aerial recovery of Discoverer 14 on this site is not really the recovery of Discoverer 14. There were no other aircrews near our aircraft that could have taken this photo or any other photos of our aerial recovery of Discoverer 14. The only photos and motion film of this historical recovery were made from the inside of our aircraft by our aerial photographer, SSG Wendell King. This particular photo is a practice recovery mission in process. I know that there are many sites, including the USAF, that show this same photo and caption. I have interviewed with the Air Force History Office pertaining with the same subject. I hope that this may be of interest and informitive to you. I was one of the loadmasters on Pelican 9 the day we caught Discoverer 14 and flew it back to Hickam AFB, Hawaii

  2. I have a Hickam AFB question I would like to ask you pertaining to 1960.

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