Some of the first US spy satellites took imagery on 70 millimeter film, which was recovered by dropping huge film canisters from space and catching them mid-air by a passing US Air Force plane.
The Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, was such a shocking event that at least one theater manager stopped the movie to announce it. The movie was _Earth vs. the Flying Saucers_, and in the audience was a young Stephen King.
NASA has 2 satellites chasing each other around the Earth tracking the distance between themselves to measure gravitational anomalies. Their nicknames are Tom & Jerry.
In a secret 1960 operation, the CIA stole the Russian satellite Lunik overnight completely disassembling, examining, and reassembling it within 12 hours, and returned it in the morning without the Russians knowing – possibly changing the outcome of the space race.
The first American spy satellites literally dropped their film from space in a “film bucket” that was then scooped up in midair by a plane.
“LES1”, a satellite that had been abandoned in 1967, recently started transmitting again, after its batteries decayed, shorting the solar panels straight to the electronics.
In 2008, hackers gained unauthorized access to a NASA spacecraft’s control system but chose to do nothing with it.
There is a satellite orbiting Earth that is to crash land in 8 million years, carrying a message addressed to the beings/humans and civilizations of the future.