Thursday, January 27, 2011

A somewhat unnoticed development which took place seven months ago

       Seven months ago an important development took place in the world of military space technology.

       This significant event went largely unnoticed, and it involved the office of the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

       On June 30 2010, the NRO placed in the public domain a 182-page document with the word secret deleted about the well known Corona spy satellite project which provided data mainly about China and Russia.

       In the preface, the fact-filled document explains that in the decades following the conclusion of the second world war, US defence planners were severely hampered by Ussr's (former) Iron Curtain `` which it says `` stood as an almost impenetrable barrier to routine information-gathering.''

       It says that the war in Korea, the appearance of the Soviet long-range Bison bomber and the test of a Soviet hydrogen bomb were a matter of concern. Keeping this in view D.Eisenhower, who was then President of the US decided to employ space technology first to penetrate the Soviet Iron Curtain. This resulted in the development of the Discoverer satellite for obtaining scientific data about the upper atmosphere, and the Corona satellite which would be used for photographic reconnaissance.

      The document, or shall we say book published in November 1987 includes several pics taken by the spy satellite of defence establishments in the USSR and elsewhere, and data of the defence department and the CIA.

      ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM)''  has not read the document, but only gone thru it cursorily, It plans to print it and convert it into a book form before reading it. Even a cursory glance indicates that it is extremely informative, but at the same time pretty heavy.

       Still it promises to make an exciting reading and sure BMM looks forward to it.


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