Spy satellites that helped the U.S. counter Soviet threats during the Cold War are the focus of a program on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 10 a.m. at the LAX Flight Path Museum, 6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles.Col. Stephen Soukup, USAF-ret., who monitored production and testing of HEXAGON KH-9 satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office for 20 years, will discuss his experiences. The program is part of the Flight Path Speaker Series. Admission and parking are free.
Intelligence insights provided by HEXAGON photographic images directly influenced U.S. policy and defense posture during the Cold War era, according to Soukup. The program was declassified in 2011, 25 years after its final space mission.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to gain inside information about a program that was top-secret for many years,” said Flight Path President Nancy Niles. “Colonel Soukup’s presentation will be of real value to anyone interested in the vital role of satellite technology in our country’s military intelligence.”
Following a 29-year U.S. Air Force career, Soukup held senior management positions at The Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo where he was involved with several USAF-related space programs, including the Global Broadcast System, Defense Communication Satellite System and Wideband Global SATCOM System. Retired from Aerospace two years ago, he continues work on these programs in a consulting role.
Soukup, a South Bay resident, holds a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master of science degree in astronautical engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He is a graduate of the Air Force War College and the National Security Agency Senior Cryptologic College.
The Speaker Series is part of Flight Path’s ongoing educational programs. The museum and learning center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., conducted by nonpofit Flight Path in cooperation with Los Angeles World Airports, the City agency which operates LAX. Admission and parking are free. For more information call 424-646-7284 or visit the museum’s website