HEXAGONKH-9Spy 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 www.flightpathmuseum.com


Clayton John250The Flight Path Speaker Series continues on September 24 at 10 a.m., featuring John Clayton, former public relations director for Continental Airlines. Clayton’s program, “Continental Airlines: The Glory Years,” will recall the days when Continental  was  headquartered at LAX and was known as “the proud bird with the golden tail.” Continental now is merged with United Airlines.Since retiring from Continental,  Clayton, a South Bay resident, has worked locally in both television and radio broadcasting. He assisted Flight Path during a plaque dedication ceremony earlier this year, providing commentary on the life and achievements of one of the honorees, the late Robert Six, head of Continental Airlines during Clayton’s tenure there.

During his September 24 presentation, Clayton also will recall the years when the Continental hangar at LAX was the destination of Air Force One as the President arrived at the airport.  Clayton was responsible for coordinating news media accommodations for the Presidential arrival and for many other VIP arrivals at the hangar.

“All are welcome but we especially invite Continental Airlines retirees to come and enjoy this program,” said Flight Path President Rowena Ake. “This is a wonderful way to remember the days when flying was carefree and even glamorous.”

Speaker Series Continues

Flight Path’s Speaker Series, so well received in 2011 and previous years, will continue in 2013 with a schedule of new programs.  Speaker Series programs are open to the public. Admission and parking are free.