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During the Cold War, espionage balloons launched by the "Free world" had a secondary psychological warfare capability, carrying propaganda pamphlets and consumer goods (which were supposedly not freely available inside Communist states) that would be released or otherwise delivered onto enemy territories.
The advent of spy satellites, coupled with the end of the Cold War, have rendered espionage balloons obsolete.
Surveillance balloon programs include:
- Nighttime photography, a description of WW2 aerial reconnaissance photography by Harold Eugene Edgerton
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