U.S. Spy Satellite Images From the Cold War Released

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 11:05 am ET
13 November 2002
At the height of the Cold War, U.S. spy satellites were busy looking for those “Kodak instant moments” on a global basis.

Now decades later, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) are spring-loaded to soon make available thousands of once secret spysat snapshots.

Imagery collection

“This is a new resource that is bound to include some surprises,” suggests Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C.

“There is a researcher’s rule of thumb that you can’t always find what you’re looking for?but you often find interesting things that you weren’t looking for! That will likely be the case here,” Aftergood told SPACE.com.