|CORONA Programs Declassified
- KH-1 through KH-3 (CORONA): Flew 1960-1962. Collected both intelligence and mapping imagery.
- KH-4, 4a, 4b (MURAL): Flew 1961-1962. Evolved to include two film return buckets and serve as the mainstay of the CORONA program.
- KH-5 (ARGON): Flew 1961-1964. First launch preceded the final KH-3 and first KH-4 flights, but experienced developmental problems. Only five of its twelve launches successfully returned film.
- KH-6 (LANYARD): Flew 1963. Successful in 2 of its 3 launches, LANYARD used a complicated roll joint to aim its camera instead of maneuvering the Agena vehicle that carried it.
- Soviets orbit first satellite, SPUTNIK, 14 October 1957
- President Eisenhower endorsed program February 1958
- Powers shot down in U-2 on 1 May 1960.
|28 February 1959
||#1 CORONA test launch attempt by USAF and CIA
|22 June 1960
||GRAB, an Electronic Intelligence Satellite launched by the Navy, becomes first operational U.S. reconnaissance satellite
|12 August 1960
||#13 1st successful recovery from space
|18 August 1960
||#14 Took 1st image from space
|6 September 1961
||National Reconnaissance Office is chartered by CIA and Defense Department to centralize management of the National Reconnaissance Program
|25 May 1972
||#145, a KH-4b MURAL, became the final launch in the CORONA family
|31 May 1972
||Last images of the series taken
|24 February 1995
||Executive Order for CORONA declassification announced
|24 May 1995
||Ceremonies at Central Intelligence Agency and National Air & Space Museum
|"Firsts" in History
- 1st photo reconnaissance satellite in the world
- 1st mid-air recovery of a vehicle returning from space
- 1st mapping of earth from space
- 1st stereo-optical data from space
- 1st multiple reentry vehicles from space
- 1st reconnaissance program to fly 100 missions
- 1st reconnaissance satellite program to be declassified
- Imaging resolution was originally 8 meters (25 feet), but improved to 2 meters (6 feet)
- Individual images on average covered an area of approximately 10 miles by 120 miles
- Operated for nearly 12 years
- Over 800,000 images taken from space
- Collection includes 2.1 million feet of film in 39,000 cans