Through the Keyhole:
In February 1995, at the urging of Vice President Gore, the U.S.
declassified the Cold War CORONA spy satellite program. From 1960 to 1972,
the CORONA program launched more than 100 spacecraft which acquired over
800,000 high-resolution images, including coverage of the dozens of secret
facilities that were the heart of Russia and China's nuclear weapons
programs. Since being declassified, almost all of this imagery has remained
unexamined, laying undisturbed on the shelves of the National Archives.
Over the past year the Federation of American Scientists Public Eye
Initiative has collected the best of the CORONA imagery of the nuclear
weapons infrastructure of Russia, China, Israel, and other countries. On
February 16 from 9:00 A.M. to 11:45 A.M., the Federation of American
Scientists will hold a conference on "Through the Keyhole: Public Policy
Applications of Declassified Corona Satellite Imagery" The conference will
provide the first extensive look at CORONA imagery of Russia's nuclear
Imagery discussed at the conference will be available online at
Presentations will discuss how Corona imagery has helped understand the
Russian infrastructure needed for the production and storage of weapons of
mass destruction, as well as how satellite imagery can help public policy
analysts evaluate current arms control and non-proliferation problems.
Featured presentions include: Joshua Handler, a Ph.D. candidate at
Princeton University, will display Corona's imagery of Russia's nuclear
weapons storage facilities. Dr. Oleg Bukharin, Center for Energy and
Environmental Studies, Princeton University, will present CORONA imagery of
Russia's nuclear weapons production complex.
Additional presentations by Stan Norris of the Natural Resources Defense
Council, Corey Gay of the Institute for Science and International Security,
Christopher Simpson of American University, and John Pike of the Federation
of American Scientists will focus on the background and future of high
resolution imagery applications for the public policy community.
The conference will be held at the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC in the Choate Room,
starting at 9:00 am. Seating is limited, so please respond by Thursday,
February 11. For further information contact: Charles Ferguson at: E-mail
(preferred): [email protected] ; Fax: 202-675-1010; Tel: 202-675-1007
Public Policy Applications of
Declassified Corona Satellite Imagery
9:00-9:05 A.M.: Dr. Jeremy J. Stone, President of the Federation of American
Panel I: Background and History
9:05-9:15 A.M.: John Pike, Federation of American Scientists, "Introducing
the FAS Public Eye Initiative"
9:15-9:30: Dr. Robert S. Norris, Director of the Nuclear Weapons Databook
Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council --"Understanding Russia's
Nuclear Weapons Complex Before the Availability of Overhead Imagery"
Panel II: Russia's Nuclear Secrets Revealed Through CORONA Imagery
9:50-10:10: Joshua Handler, Ph.D. candidate, Woodrow Wilson School,
Princeton University -- "CORONA and Russia's Nuclear Weapons Storage
Infrastructure: Seeing Bunkers from Space and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative
Threat Reduction program."
10:10-10:30: Dr. Oleg Bukharin, Princeton University's Center for Energy
and Environmental Studies -- "Satellite Snapshots of Russia's Nuclear
Cities: Implications for Transparency and Irreversibility of Nuclear
Panel III: Future Applications of Satellite Imagery
10:50-11:05: Corey Gay, Institute for Science and International Security --
"Emerging Public Applications of High-Resolution Satellite Imagery to
11:05-11:20: Christopher Simpson, Director of the Project on Satellite
Imagery and the News Media at the American University School of
Communication -- "The Future of High Resolution Satellite Imagery and the
News Media "
The FAS Public Eye Initiative thanks the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace for providing its conference room, the John D. and
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the W. Alton Jones Foundation, the John
Merck Fund, and the Scherman Foundation for financial support, the National
Archives in College Park, Maryland for facilitating access to Corona
imagery, as well as all the fine folks at the National Reconnaissance Office
who acquired the imagery to begin with.