A retired U.S. Air Force sergeant has been charged with conspiracy to commit espionage while working at the super-secret National Reconnaissance office.

Authorities say Brian Regan was arrested late Thursday as he was about to board a flight from Washington to Zurich.

Prosecutors have not said what country he was allegedly spying for or what information he is accused of passing on. But they told a federal judge Friday they believe he began providing secret information to an unnamed country about a year ago while working as a government contractor at the Defense Department's National Reconnaissance office, the agency that runs the nation's network of spy satellites.

The retired Air Force sergeant appeared at the court hearing without a lawyer and did not enter a plea. A new hearing was set for next week.

This arrest comes six months after the arrest of veteran FBI agent Robert Hanssen who admitted passing on some of the nation's most secret intelligence information to Russia and the former Soviet Union for some 15 years. He's now serving life in prison.