Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This image was taken over the Soviet Union by the Corona, our nation's first spy satellite that operated between 1960 to 1972. Rolls of film unspooled behind the Corona's camera lens to make highly detailed images many meters long. This image is a small portion of a very long roll of film- in all the film taken by the Corona measured some 2.1 million feet. The National Reconnaissance Office declassified this material in 1995 and now most of the high resolution images are available through the US Geological Survey. This photo shows Ramenskoye, Russia, where there is an airfield- you can see it next to the Moskva river, the biggest geometrical form in the landscape. The images from Corona were edited for sensitive intelligence, and then the data was used for making thousands of maps for military and civilian use.