Trivia

Hard

The First Spy Satellite Images Were Retrieved By?

Encrypted Radio Waves
Airplanes
Rockets
Submarines
United States Air Force

Answer: Airplanes

You’ve got a spy camera in space, orbiting the globe, and it uses honest-to-goodness film. You need to get that film back to Earth without damaging it, so it can be developed by your intelligence agencies and examined. What do you do? If it’s the 1960s, you’re the United States Air Force, and you’re flush with cash, Cold War bravado, and skilled pilots, then you snatch it right out of the air as it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

We’re not being remotely hyperbolic with that statement either. The earliest U.S. spy satellites would jettison their film payloads, secured in very well insulated tiny re-entry vehicles called “film buckets”. The film buckets would deploy a parachute to drift lazily through the air for a few moments before being expertly intercepted by U.S. Air Force pilots soaring along dragging a tail hook capture device behind their planes.

In the rare instances the Air Force failed to retrieve the film buckets, the Navy was called in to pluck them out of the ocean using radio transmitters to locate them. As a final safeguard, should the Navy fail in retrieving them, a salt plug in the bottom of the device would dissolve when exposed to water for two days and sink the film to the bottom of the ocean.

Trivia

Very Hard

The Very First Cardboard Boxes Were Used For?

Trivia

Easy

The World’s Oldest Commissioned Naval Vessel Still Afloat Is The?

Trivia

Easy

Prior To The Early 19th Century, You Wouldn’t Experience What On Christmas?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Volunteer Distributed Computing Project?

Trivia

Hard

Which Letter Appears Once a Year on the Moon’s Surface?

Y H
J X

Trivia

Hard

What Iconic 1980s Toy Was Introduced At None Other Than The Iconic Studio 54 Nightclub?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Novelist Indirectly Contributed To Particle Physics?

Trivia

Hard

In China An Unauthorized Harry Potter Sequel Was Revealed To Be A Rewrite Of?

Trivia

Easy

The Giant’s Causeway Is One Of The Best Known Examples Of This Geological Phenomenon?

Trivia

Easy

Which Much Maligned Font Was Never Intended For Widespread Use?