With the Cold War at its height, the need for high-quality reconnaissance
images was greater than ever. Yet several embarrassing aerial surveillance
mishaps, including the shooting-down of Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane over Russia
in 1960, convinced the CIA that work on a new UAV, invulnerable to attack,
should begin immediately. The U.S. government gave Lockheed the job of
developing a high-speed, ultra-stealth UAV.