Washington, D.C., March 13, 2023 – The 65-year U.S. effort to detect and track objects in space, from the days before Sputnik 1 to today’s much more crowded orbital environment, is the subject of a fascinating new article and briefing book posted today by the National Security Archive.
CIA U-2 Collection of Signals Intelligence, 1956-1960
By James E. David*
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2021 – U.S.-Soviet cooperation in space was a regular, if less noticed, feature of the final years of the USSR and continued well after the emergence of independent Russia, a compilation of declassified documents and interviews posted today by the National Security Archive underscores. In the second of a two-part posting, records from Russian and American archives highlight the successes of joint operations ranging from the Shuttle-Mir program to the International Space Station.
Washington, D.C., April 12, 2021 – Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic spaceflight 60 years ago, which made him the first human in space, prompted President John F. Kennedy to advance an unusual proposal – that the two superpowers combine forces to cooperate in space. In a congratulatory letter to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive, Kennedy expressed the hope that “our nations [can] work together” in the “continuing quest for knowledge of outer space.”
Washington, D.C., December 20, 2016 – Soviet missile and space programs were among the most frequent topics briefed to the president of the United States by U.S. intelligence during the administrations of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, according to a review of recently declassified excerpts of the President’s Daily Brief posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.
Washington, DC, April 10, 2015 – Furnishing cover stories for covert operations, monitoring Soviet missile tests, and supplying weather data to the U.S. military have been part of the secret side of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since its inception in 1958, according to declassified documents posted for the first time today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). James E.
Washington, DC, February 4, 2015 – During much of the Cold War Soviet space activities — civilian and military — were a major focus of U.S. intelligence collection and analysis. As one of the key areas of technological competition with Moscow — one where the Soviet Union jumped to an early lead in some space activities — the space race generated profound concern in Washington over the need to understand and respond to new developments. To that end, U.S.
Washington, DC, July 20, 2014 – Forty-five years ago, astronaut Neil Armstrong took his "one small step" for mankind, becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. The program that resulted in that historic event — managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) — had been a very public one ever since its announcement by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Even the Soviet government had publicized aspects of its own effort. But there were also highly secret elements to the U.S.
Declassified Documents Trace U.S. Policy Shifts on Use of Commercial Satellite Imagery from 1970s to Today
Washington, DC, November 27, 2012 – In the forty years since the first launch of a commercial imagery satellite – LANDSAT – in 1972, U.S. official policy has shifted dramatically from imposing significant limits on their capabilities to permitting U.S. firms to orbit high-resolution satellites with significant intelligence-gathering capacities. According to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive, internal debates within the government have focused both on the risks of adversaries exploiting such commercial platforms and on the potential benefits for the U.S.
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2012 – Today, the National Security Archive posts the fourth in a series of electronic briefing books concerning secrecy and satellite reconnaissance - one of the most sensitive areas of U.S. intelligence-gathering. Specific satellite programs whose declassification is covered in this briefing book include some of the earliest and, at the time, most secretive programs of their kind: CORONA, ARGON, LANYARD, GRAB, POPPY, GAMBIT, HEXAGON, and QUILL.