The Corona Project Essay Research Paper The

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The Corona Project Essay, Research Paper The Discoverer Program was a fake to conceal the Corona Program, as a series of photo-reconnaissance spy satellites. Corona was the first photo-reconnaissance program, and the beginnings for military and space imaging programs of today. Corona was developed in secrecy so that the targeted nations wouldn t know what was planned. The U.S. government announced a series of scientific goals, including biological and reentry experiments for space flight, but none were actually planned. The cover was really elaborate that an entire staff, who didn t know about Corona, was assigned to Discoverer where scientific instruments were placed on Discoverer satellites and removed before launch. We found out Corona today because President Clinton

signed an executive order on February 24, 1995, releasing information and more than 800,000 images of the Earth taken by the Corona Program. The Corona satellites were unimaginable with its many, many objectives! First, it imaged all of Soviets medium-range, intermediate-range and ICBM complexes. Second, it imaged each Soviet submarine class from deployment to operational bases. Third, it provided inventories of Soviet bombers and fighters. Fourth, it revealed the presence of Soviet missiles in Egypt protecting the Suez Canal. Fifth, it identified Soviet nuclear assistance to the People s Republic of China. Sixth, it monitored the SALT I treaty. Seventh, it uncovered the Soviet ABM program and sites. Eight, it identified Soviet atomic weapon storage installations. Nine, it

identified the People s Republic of China s missile launching sites. Ten, it determined precise locations of Soviet air defense missile batteries. Eleven, it observed the construction and deployment of the Soviet ocean surface fleet. Twelve, it identified Soviet command, control installations and networks. Thirteen, it provided mapping for Strategic Air Command targeting and bomber routes. Fourteen, it identified the Plesteak Missile Test Range, north of Moscow. (With many more other functions!) Today, the military enjoys the best technology, but space images for civilian use are of high quality, including images from French and Russian sources. This technology began with a Defense Department program called Corona. Corona was the first operational space imaging reconnaissance

satellite program, approved in February 1958. Its’ goal was to take pictures from space of the Soviet Bloc countries and return the photographic film for processing and analysis. In the 1950’s, it became increasingly difficulty to obtain intelligence data about soviet military capabilities, especially nuclear. Balloons carrying cameras (Genetrix- the same thing explained to the people of Roswell, NM about the famous UFO siting) at high altitude were tried starting on January 22, 1956 but weren t reliable. High altitude U-2 spy planes were used to gather intelligence, starting July 4, 1956, but were discontinued when Francis Gary Powers was shot down by a Soviet SAM May 1, 1960. Outer space became the ultimate ‘high ground’. Corona camera systems were integrated into an

Agena upper stage and launched into Polar orbit by Thor booster from Van den Berg AFB, CA. Corona used an innovative constant rotating panoramic camera system, which provided a stable platform which was constantly pointed toward the Earth. The basic camera technology was a breakthrough developed as part of the Genetrix Project. Film was loaded into a recovery vehicle and returned to Earth for air recovery by USAF C-119 aircraft, while floating to Earth on a parachute. Sea recovery was used as a backup. Corona was developed in secrecy so that targeted nations wouldn t know what was planned. Even the existence of Corona wasn t acknowledged. The Corona project management structure became the National Reconnaissance Office(NRO). NRO is a super secret agency whose exist was not even