A bit of Cold War space history has been unthawed.
The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), National Security Agency (NSA) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have declassified the fact that a series of satellites was orbited from 1962 through 1971, designated POPPY.
POPPY's mission was to collect radar emissions from Soviet naval vessels - an activity called electronic intelligence, or ELINT for short.
The POPPY system was designed to detect land based radar emitters and support ocean surveillance. In its seven launches, "POPPY made tremendous contributions to the nation's security during an especially perilous era," according to a press statement associated with the September 12 declassification of the satellite system.