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ACSM-CaGIS Half-Day Workshop PowerPoint Presentation
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ACSM-CaGIS Half-Day Workshop

ACSM-CaGIS Half-Day Workshop

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ACSM-CaGIS Half-Day Workshop

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  1. ACSM-CaGISHalf-Day Workshop Wednesday April 2nd, 8am-12pm Yuma 23

  2. CLANDESTINE CARTOGRAPHY: AMERICAN CARTOGRAPHY AND THE EARTH SCIENCES THROUGH THE KEYHOLE OF CLASSIFIED RECONNAISSANCE PROGRAMS, FROM CORONA TO GAMBIT TO HEXAGON (1958-1980) Keith Clarke, UCSB & John Cloud, Cornell University

  3. Schedule • Part 1: The Cold War Context • Introduction • NRO history video • Part 2: How CORONA Worked • Part 3: The Imagery and its Uses • Part 4: The Institutions and Programs

  4. Part 1: The Cold War Context

  5. The Cold War • WWII General Werner von Fritsch (German Chief of Staff) “The nation with the best photo reconnaissance will win the next war” (1938) • Lt. Col. Richard S. Leghorn: oversees reconnaissance for D-Day, then Bikini Attol tests Able and Baker. • AAF established Boston University Optical Research Laboratory -> ITEK (1946) • Amron Katz RAND “crash” studies in 1946-7 • 1947 Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Vandenberg captures project for the Air Force

  6. Cold War Pressures • Captured V-2 program and missiles • Further nuclear progress: H-bomb in 1952, Soviets in 1954 • SAC created in 1946, in 1955 went 24/7 • Denied territory • Bomber and missile gaps • Eisenhower proposes Open Skies 7/18/55 • Sputnik 1957, Soviets develop first ICBM, Khrushchev declares “we will bury you”. • 1962 Cuban Missile crisis, imagery key

  7. CORONA’s Origins • 1950/1 start of RAND Project FEEDBACK. • December 1953 separated WS-117L at Wright Air Development Center. Languished. • Vanguard program was to lead establishment of open space • GENETRIX program 1953-4 640 “weather” balloons. C-119 capture designed, ITEK HYAC cameras used.

  8. The Birth of CORONA • TALENT imagery seen as high risk. U-2 AQUATONE first flew 1955. • By 1958 WS-117L went deep black and became CORONA. • Project Feedback became SAMOS • Francis Gary Powers shot down in May 1st 1960 • Replacement SR-71 OXCART came in 1965 • But, in August 1960 CORONA achieved its first success

  9. Significant Dates • 28 February 1959 # 1 CORONA test launch attempt • 12 August 1960 #13 1st successful recovery from space • 18 August 1960 #14 Took 1st image from space • 25 May 1972 #145, last CORONA, launched • 31 May 1972 Last images of the series taken • 24 February 1995 Executive Order for CORONA declassification announced (EO-12921) • 24 May 1995 Ceremonies at Central Intelligence Agency and National Air & Space Museum • 20 September 2002 GAMBIT and HEXAGON Declassified under EO-12921

  10. The intelligence significance “The arrival of the Discoverer 14 film at PIC was marked by a special presentation. During the U-2 overflights, the practice had been established that the photo interpreters would have nighttime briefings in the PIC auditorium. They were shown a map of the Soviet Union, with a squiggly line showing the route of the U-2, and were briefed on its important targets. When they assembled for the briefing on Mission 9009, PIC Director Arthur Lundahl told the photo interpreters that it was “something new and great we’ve got here.” Jack Gardner opened the curtain over the map of the Soviet Union. Instead of a single squiggle covering only a tiny part of the USSR, there were eight broad bands running north to south across the whole width of the Soviet landmass. The photo interpreters began to cheer.” (Peebles, 1997, p.91)

  11. “…it was as if an enormous floodlight had been turned on in a darkened warehouse.” (Day et al., 1998)

  12. NRO history movie