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Press Release | Dec. 14, 2006

NSA/CSS National Cryptologic Museum Unveils New Poppy Exhibit

On 14 December 2006, Mr. John C. "Chris" Inglis, Deputy Director, National Security Agency (NSA); Brigadier General Larry D. James, USAF, Director, Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition and Operations Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO); and Captain Daniel Gahagan, Commanding Officer, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), unveiled the new Poppy Satellite Reconnaissance Program exhibit at the National Cryptologic Museum located in Ft. Meade, Maryland. Mr. Inglis hosted key NSA, NRO, and NRL personnel who were responsible for the success of the Poppy program. Poppy was the successor to the Nation's first electronic intelligence satellite, known as "Grab" (Galactic Radiation and Background), also on display at the Museum.

Poppy became a multi-agency satellite system when the NRO was established in 1961 shortly before the satellite was first launched. It was designed to detect land-based radar emitters and support ocean surveillance. Personnel that worked on the Poppy project made tremendous contributions to our Nation's security during the Cold War era, from 1962-1971, a span that included seven launches of Poppy satellites.

For more information about the new Poppy exhibit, please visit NSA's web site, Media interested in pictures of the unveiling should email the National Security Agency's Public Affairs Office at