RECONNAISSANCE

Satellites

Articles

U - Z

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. An Underwater Ice Station Zebra: Recovering a Secret Spy Satellite Capsule from 16,400 feet Below the Pacific Ocean, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/underwater-ice-station-zebra/index.html.

On 26 April 1972, the U.S. Navy's deep sea submersible, the Trieste II Deep Sea Vehicle I (DSV-1), salvaged from 16,400 feet below a film capsule ("bucket") from a HEXAGON photoreconnaissance satellite, lost in the summer of 1971.

U.S. Congress. House. Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. Report on Challenges and Recommendations for United States Overhead Architecture. House Report No. 110-914. Washington, DC: GPO, 3 Oct. 2008. [http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2008_rpt/hrpt110-914.html]

This is an indictment of the current status of the U.S. satellite program. The report avoids confronting the organizational mistakes that began in the mid-1990s and continued through Donald Rumsfeld's tenure as Defense Secretary, and therefore does not convince this reader that the root problems are understood. However, much of the report's rhetoric is on the mark. The "Executive Summary" states: "The United States is losing its preeminence in space. A once robust partnership between the U.S. Government and the American space industry has been weakened by years of demanding space programs, the exponential complexity of technology, and an inattention to acquisition discipline."

See reportage by Walter Pincus, "Tension May Feed Decline of U.S. Power in Space," Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2008, A19.

U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Office of Corporate Communications. "POPPY Program Fact Sheet." Washington, DC: 12 Sep. 2005. [http://www.fas.org/irp/nro/poppy.pdf]

On 12 September 2005, the POPPY electronic intelligence (ELINT) satellite system was declassified. The satellite was developed by the Naval Research Laboratory in 1962. Its "mission was to collect radar emissions from Soviet naval vessels." There were seven POPPY satellites placed in space from 1962 to 1971.

Vick, Charles P. "MISTY/FP-731, Follow-on ADVANCED CRYSTAL: The Stealth Reconnaissance Imaging Spacecraft," GlobalSecurity.org, 21 Jun. 2007. [http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/afp-731.htm]

This article contains a wealth of information about the "MISTY low observables spacecraft program."

Wall, Robert, "Intelligence Lacking on Satellite Threats." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 Mar. 1999, 54.

USAF Gen. Richard B. Myers, chief of U.S. Space Command, said at the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium that "the intelligence community does not have sufficient capability to track the growing threat to U.S. satellites."

Waltrop, David W. "Recovery of the Last GAMBIT and HEXAGON Film Buckets from Space, August–October 1984." Studies in Intelligence 58, no. 2 (Jun. 2014): 19-34. [https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol-58-no-2/pdfs/Waltrop-Catching%20the%20End%20of%20an%20Era-June2014.pdf]

"Retrieval of the last buckets from the final GAMBIT and HEXAGON missions was a critical point in the nation's transition to near-real time imagery from space. The Test Group was part of complex system that included the building, launching, tasking, and control of the satellite; and the retrieval, dissemination, assessment, and exploitation of the imagery product."

Wheelon, Albert D. ("Bud")

1. "And the Truth Shall Keep You Free: Recollections by the First Deputy Director of Science and Technology." Studies in Intelligence 39, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 73-78.

2. "Corona: The First Reconnaissance Satellites." Physics Today, Feb. 1997, 24-30.

Zimmerman, Peter D. "From the SPOT Files: Evidence of Spying." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 45 (Sep. 1989): 24-25.

On the SPOT commercial satellite.

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