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Cryptonym: CORONA

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CORONA was a satellite system project. A memo from CIA Director, John McCone, in May of 1964 stated that "the CORONA satellite system was judged to be 'not sufficient to give us useful photography."'

104-10302-10000: PFIAB DOCUMENTS (5)

12/28/62: Memorandum for the record from Lyman B. Kirkpatrick, Executive Director: Subject: Meeting of the DCI with the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Friday, December 28, 0930 a.m. Specific Subject: Discussion of Cuba: Page 9. "16. Mr. Pace commented that since November there had been 72 overflights of Cuba, and yet for a much greater length of time there had been no U-2 flights over the Soviet Union, which was a much important target. He said that obviously there must be great gaps in our knowledge on the USSR. General Doolittle said it was even worse than that. He noted that CORONA had given no valuable intelligence on Cuba and that apparently the U-2 gave questionable intelligence so that low level reconnaissance was needed. The Director said this wasn't accurate, that the U-2 gave all of the intelligence that was needed to convince the OAS and our other allies. The low level flights were needed for backstopping possible military operations. Mr. Pace asked if it was correct that CORONA had produced no valuable intelligence on Cuba and Mr. McCone said that this was true. General Doolittle noted the closeness of the dangers and commented that if the Cubans had moved faster and gotten the camouflage up, we might never have discovered the missiles..."

104-10302-10000: PFIAB DOCUMENTS (5)

04/22/63: Memorandum: Subject: Suggest Topics for Discussion With the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, 10.15 a.m., 23 April: ..."II. Recent CORONA Coverage plus Recent TACKLE Flights..."

104-10302-10000: PFIAB DOCUMENTS (5)

04/23/63: Memorandum for the record: Subject: Meeting of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, 1015, Tuesday, 23 April 1963: Pages 2-3: ..."3. Mr. McCone reported that recent CORONA and TACKLE flights over China produced the best photography we have ever had, and that he had not set up a formal briefing for the Board because of their busy schedule. He advised that there was one point concerning ICBM complexes in the Soviet Union which he wished to call to the attention of the Board. The last CORONA flight had revealed one new ICBM complex and this now located these installations in 18 separate places. He noted that these complexes ranged from four pads to possibly as many as 18...4. Dr. Land stated that CORONA was getting better and better, and he hoped that all of those in the pursuit of a better vehicle would not forget that CORONA is doing the job. Mr. McCone replied that this was true, and said that he had the schedule for satellite launchings which he would leave with the Board. This called for CORONA-M once a month to July, with an extra one in May, and CORONA-J once a month from May 1963 to July 1964, with two in September. If trouble develops with the 'J' configuration, 'M' can be continued once a month until March..."


09/13/63: CORONA Agreement statement by David L. Christ, DD/S+T: "I have read and fully understand the briefing statement made available to me regarding Project CORONA. By virtue of this briefing, I acknowledge that I have been the recipient of information relating to a highly classified program of interest to the United States Government...In order to avoid any possible misunderstanding of the security factors involved, everyone cleared for access to CORONA receives this briefing. CORONA information will not be disseminated without the prior approval of Project Headquarters and there is to be no reference to CORONA with other than CORONA cleared personnel. Having received the above, I hereby accept the responsibility to handle information concerning CORONA in accord with the security measures established. I will advise the briefing official of any change in my status so as to permit his review and, where necessary, effect an appropriate de-briefing."

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Volume XXXII: Dominican Republic; Cuba; Haiti; Guyana Current Section: 265. 5/2/64 - Memo for the Record

05/02/64: Memorandum for the Record by DCI John McCone: "The new CIA-developed high-altitude high-speed OXCART reconnaissance aircraft, later known as the SR-71 Blackbird, would "not be operational at the design speed of 3.2 Mach and 85,000 to 90,000 feet for another few months. The CORONA satellite system was judged to be "not sufficient to give us useful photography."

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