Corona ITEK Collection
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Itek Corporation
bulk 1964-1996
Physical Description:
0.45 Cubic feet
(6 containers)

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of the following Corona ITEK items: The Corona Camera System: Itek's Contribution to World Stability by Frank J. Madden; photograph of the Corona-ITEK; "The Item," ITEK's internal employee newsletter, August 1974; agenda for a Corona and ITEK program, 1995; Lens Element #6 drawing; Housing Magazine drawing; Camera Body Frame drawing; Center Frame Weldment drawing; and Ball Screw Assembly drawing.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
In early 1958, a few months after the Soviets launched the first Sputnik, President Eisenhower authorized a top-priority reconnaissance satellite project jointly managed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US Air Force. It was to launch into orbit a camera-carrying spacecraft that would take photographs of the Soviet Union and return the film to Earth. The secret spy satellite was dubbed Corona by the CIA. To disguise its true purpose, it was given the cover name Discoverer and described as a scientific research program. From 1960 to 1972, more than 100 Corona missions took over 800,000 photographs. As cameras and imaging techniques improved, Corona and other high-resolution reconnaissance satellites provided increasingly detailed information to US intelligence analysts. Dozens of companies and many thousands of people labored in secret to develop and operate the technologies for Corona. One of the companies was ITEK, whose spaceborne panoramic camera design revolutionized photo reconnaissance, allowing the Corona program to be successful.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Peter Brown, Gift, 2016

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Corona ITEK Collection, Accession 2016-0033, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Espionage Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cold War Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
KH-4 (Corona) Reconnaissance Satellite Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Technical drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151