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Eye in the Sky presents the full story of the reconnaissance satellites' origins, technology, and far-reaching effects on foreign policy and national security. The contributors -- those who were intimately involved in the Corona program's design and management as well as leading scholars -- relate how the program, launched as an interim attempt to probe beyond the Iron Curtain without intruding into Soviet airspace, documented not only all Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile sites, but also all warship bases, submarine bases, and military/ industrial complexes. The book also describes how the satellites furthered such technological objectives as the recovery of objects from space and contributed to the mapping-of the Earth.
The editors conclude that the Corona program yielded its most valuable information by proving the nonexistence of the widely perceived "missile gap". This allowed the United States to substantially scale back its plans for new missiles and provided a firm basis for subsequent arms control agreements. Arguing that satellite reconnaissance was key toshaping the course of the Cold War, the book documents not only one of the most important breakthroughs in twentieth-century intelligence gathering but also an achievement in space technology that rivals the landing on the moon.
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