America Spying with the Corona Satellites

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Fighting for Space:
Breaking the Chains of Gravity:

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The U-2 series!
Part 1: Origins
Part 2: First Flights
Part 3: The Powers Incident

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  1. Gregg Weber

    27:20 Hey look Borus! The American spy satellite is dropping its bucket. Don’t have to worry about that one seeing anything.
    What? Now it’s dropping another bucket!

  2. Jeff Herald

    Thanks for this video. This is one of my favorite spy satellite programs. The “Rube Goldberg” nature of it, with so many moving parts that have to work correctly in sequence, is fascinating to me. There is a KH9 Hexagon satellite on display at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio. Really interesting to see it up close.

  3. Donald Depew

    I thought Corona was a town in SoCal located south of Chino. Another Great Video!

  4. OmeGardian

    missed opportunity for clickbait title: Corona in space!

  5. Karl Kastor

    5:56 didn’t know Belarus used to be called Belarussia

  6. Mr Welch

    Disclaimer: Please wear a mask and maintain 6 foot distance from screen, as this video contains corona.

  7. Tim Tebow's Left Arm

    So cool to ride past Vandenberg when taking the Coast Starlight train.

  8. M T

    Hi Amy. Thank you for the interesting videos.

  9. f3liscatus

    Metric, please, for us Europeans! ;-) 24 inch = 60cm, 40 ft = 12 m. Do you know what size of film was use? The film shown looks a bit like medium format (120 or 220), but it is hard to tell… I guess they used their own standards?

  10. Michael Thompson

    Awesome! An new episode!! WOOO!

  11. R.Instro

    Dad worked on this program for years, first from Sunnyvale, then from Vandenberg AFB.
    Love hearing outside accounts of what he was FINALLY able to talk about with us (his family) just a few years ago following declassification… just to work on the program, he had to have his wife/my mom vetted for a Top Secret clearance (even though he still wasn’t supposed to talk about it, lol)!
    Thanks, Amy!

  12. randomgeocacher

    Since 2005-2010 CCD has largely been replaced in cameras by another vintage space space technology; APS sensors (later APS CMOS). APS was invented for among other things higher resolving images under low light, which is beneficial in space telescopes (and I would guess, satellite images of areas in dusk/dawn).

    They are kind of the same thing but at the same time very different. CCD is a simpler construction that requires crazy accuracy, while APS is a complex construction which is easier to get accurate. APS samples one or a few pixels by a sampler, so a ton of samplers are needed on the chip. Compared to CCD that just have a few samplers and does a complex “move the pixels one by one towards the sampler”, which requires great accuracy in each move in order to not loose precision in the pixels far from the sampler.

  13. dazaspc

    The Corona program and what it achieved I believe was the greatest achievement of the space program short of returning men from the moon. The fact that it happened so early and the technical advances made by it still impress me compared to what happens today.

  14. Stephen Dinicola

    How u fidget w ur hands is so friggin cute u adorable little canadian

  15. Adrian Inglis

    Oh My God! I could listen to you till the day I die!

  16. ray julien

    Thank you.

  17. Edward Parkhurst

    Very informative and interesting video young lady. Thanks for sharing.

  18. cordial001

    Great series. Can’t wait for the rest.

  19. Mike's Tropical Tech

    I’ve taken that Amtrak train through Vandenburg, you can see the SpaceX and ULA launch complexes not too far away.

  20. MakeMeThinkAgain

    What happened to the sound?

  21. mustang6172

    Fun fact: every time Amy says “Corona,” Youtube’s algorithm goes haywire.

  22. Admiral Percy


  23. Admiral Percy


  24. Perry Spencer

    Thank you so much for the amazing content. Very classy look.

  25. opticschief

    Well done young lady.

  26. JPSE57

    Corona payload retrieval reminds me of the McGuffin being pursued in “Ice Station Zebra”.

  27. Tony Rome

    Great Job Amy!!! Concise, to the point, but packed with interesting historical information. I lived through that wild time, so knew a lot but not all of the story details. Thanks for the very well done video.

  28. Nicolas Paré

    That’s what he said 1:27

  29. Amechwarrior

    Would love to see a series like this from the Soviet angle. I’ve heard about the Corona sats and their recovery, but I have no idea what early USSR spyware was like.

  30. tkrinc

    Amy one show you can do from the 1950s are the amateur rocketeers in Fort Sill and Captain Brinley.

  31. Miguel s Enriquez


  32. zambot3

    The best

  33. Rog

    love your videos!!! and that dress! WOW :)

  34. Shauna O'Toole

    Your ability to weave a story through these programs is incredible!

  35. Matthew Fetherston

    This episode had eveything that a good narrator could put in to a video except it was missing one thing Pete your loyal keyboard warmer.

  36. MrPriebster

    Thank you for this I have worked to preserve some of this film and its cool to see the full story

  37. adrianspeeder

    I once spent over an hour talking to a vintage old dude in isle 9 at the Andrews AFB Commissary. He was a JC-130A pilot that first wanted to know if I was on C-130s today. No, I said I was C-17s, but upon asking what he did, I lost all track of time listening to his story. My crew abandoned me to meet up at a bar later, but he recommended to read the book, To Catch A Falling Star. Great read of a fascinating USAF operation.

  38. mshotz1

    About that Southern Pacific rail line. The SP had a Train Order Station located near the base. In the days before radio, train orders were how railroads gave special instructions to train crews, like if one train was running late, or an extra unscheduled train was running.

    It was in the down range zone, and if a rocket were to fail, the debris and flaming fuel could fall onto the office.

    So the air force build a bomb shelter behind the office and a hot line to base operations.

    The procedure was they would call and warn the operator and dispatcher 15 minutes before a launch, the operator would head for the shelter, and wait until another phone there would ring giving the operator a all clear.

  39. Phill

    Search “to catch a falling star documentary” on YouTube, there’s a great 1950s documentary on the subject.

  40. Traveler 1980

    We’re working our way up to the SR-71 video!

  41. Dave Leeds

    Another excellent video, thanks Amy

  42. Elijah Perrin

    Keep up the great work.

  43. brian dimarzio

    Loved the video…would love to see the flip side of it. How the soviets used aircraft or spacecraft to spy on us.

  44. Rainforest Grizz

    Very interesting video and history of the Corona Satellites program. Good job Amy, looking forward to the next video about the “black birds”. I did not know how long we had to catch the capsules in mid-air by passing airplanes . Thank You, please keep the great videos coming.

  45. Elliot Smith

    SAR is another worthwhile subject in the area.

  46. Ulf Henriksson

    I really like your hair color

  47. Elliot Smith

    Good work. Would it be too technical to talk about what was learned regarding FMEA and process, and how Space X kind of threw a lot of that out the window to do things their own way? In may ways the development of checks and counter checks made space happen, but made it crazy expensive. My neighbor was an engineer for one of the significant US satellite companies. When Space X started he would roll his eyes and say “they will never get the paperwork right”.

  48. Aerimis

    As an instructor in the US military, a science educator, amateur astronomer and physicist, and all around life-long nerd, I’ve found immense value and pleasure in your videos over the years. However, this series truly surpasses even your own (very high) standard of excellence.

    Exceptionally well researched, laid out in a clear, logical, compelling, and thoughtful manner, with perfect delivery and presentation, this series is truly a gold standard that I intend to use as an example for training new instructors. Hell, it should be required viewing and part of the curriculum at the US military academies as part of the history of strategic intelligence modules.

    Excellent work, absolutely first rate, and I cannot praise it highly enough.

  49. crusinscamp

    13:03 C-119 Fairchild Flying Boxcar, I remember seeing them flying in the Philadelphia area when I was growing up. A very distinctive airplane. I remember seeing very coarse resolution weather pictures in the local newspapers at the time. I never made the connection how important these weather pictures were to successful operation of the spy satellites.

  50. Mike M

    “Corona” going to make all the people who think corona means beer freak out, or that the satalittes can detect Corona viruses lol. Even though corona means “Crown” like a “corona type writer” it’s not a type writer with a virus, it’s a crown type writer :) lol.

  51. Jacco van Schaik

    That was really interesting. Question: what happened to the Corona satellites after the film was ejected? Were they forced to re-enter the atmosphere, or were their orbits allowed to decay naturally? I don’t expect there was much worry about the Soviet Union hijacking a Corona satellite back then, but maybe from a “better safe than sorry” standpoint forcing them down was preferable. And you might also want some control over *where* they came down.

  52. Paul Cooper

    Wonderful research and story telling. Thank you!

  53. Simonize41

    As always, incredibly well researched and presented. Again I learn something new, always. Thank you Amy, truly.

  54. David Black

    Welcome back. happy new year

  55. One Man


  56. Hope4Today9 Now

    “Pork Chops & Re-conn-ai-ssance” (smile takes me back).

  57. Anton Voloshin

    YES! With all this nonsense, continuing to happen all around the world… It is time to remind people what CORONA really means!

  58. Stephen Michalski

    Whoa!!! Packed with sooooo much info…..I thought I had been listening for hours. I remember being blown away as a kid when visiting the Museum of Science and Technology in Chicago and they had a display of photo’s taken from space. The photo sequence gradually focused on NYC to a bee on a woman’s leg sitting on a park bench in Central Park. I went back to that display about 5 time’s throughout the day spent there. Never forget that……utterly amazing.
    Sorry…….still can’t get over…..recona…..”sance”. It just makes you even more endearing than you are naturally. Thanks for the waaaaay excellent work …….love it all. 💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖🚀💖

  59. Hojo J.

    Love your attention to detail. Keep ’em coming!

  60. Michael Sullivan

    Reconnaissance. Now we need to hear you say, “sabotage!”

  61. Will XJR

    Thankyou Amy, Another very informative video. I learn something new with every video. 🙂

  62. frostyeverclear

    Yess! I been waiting for material about the secret space programs from vintage space for a while. More material will be declassified about in coming years about cold war era space stations and satellites so keep an eye out.

  63. ste kra

    Stagly we are curantly just at KH 11

  64. David Neel

    At the time this was going on a designer at Estes Rockets developed a model rocket to carry a 8mm movie camera. It was called Cineroc. There is a video on YouTube about the history of Estes Rockets.

  65. Henry 12 Solstice 21

    Hai cali from vegas

  66. Carighan Maconar

    Corona satellites? WTF, Bill Gates? WTF?! 😛

  67. Tom Sedgman

    I just got breaking the chains of gravity, I can’t wait to read it!

  68. Space Catboy

    see they had corona way back then even

  69. Paul van Lies·hout

    Amy, please more inserts and pictures.
    When you are in the frame, I don’t hear a word you are saying, since I get too mesmerised…

  70. Rick J

    Thank you Amy, this series is so enjoyable!

  71. Demon orb

    Excellent series great attention to detail 👍🌏

  72. qetoun

    Not many people know that Werhner Von Braun and Allen Dulles were life long German spies.

  73. TendyMusic

    It’s amazing how they were actually able to get that detail on a Aircraft cruiser back then like my iPhone can’t take a high-resolution image from 50 yards away but back then we were able to take those kind of photos insane

  74. zapfanzapfan

    Are you wearing a city map? :-)

  75. Madison Livingston


  76. Alex Landherr

    At 14:45, *and to your left you see a reconnaissance satellite launch facility.*

  77. E. Rose

    Great video Amy! FYI my father designed the Elint package for that GRAB satellite! A replica and his notes from it’s first transmission is on display at the Air and Space Museum in D.C.!

  78. Cleon Wallace

    I’m really loving this channel

  79. Hans

    Does make you wonder what the Soviets were doing on the espionage front at that time.

  80. Joe Murrow

    Love the video, great work as always!

  81. ahsen khan

    I thought she said “After Gary youtube was down in 1960″……………………………………………….

  82. Scot Fretwell

    Looking forward to your third book.

  83. Canal do Étore

    Thanks Amy!

  84. Doc Brown

    Do they have small manual hand crank generator type devices built into the Space shuttle, and the Previous Apollo craft to generate any Emergency Power possibly needed from the Loss of Power lessons learned on Apollo 13?

  85. jwb 01

    She is one hot space nerd and catlady :P

  86. Xmanhoe Bill

    Yey ! Can we get a “Reconasanse” ..GO Canada 🇨🇦🥰

  87. Alex Landherr

    Am I wrong or wasn’t there a commercial train line running through Vandenberg AFB around the time of the program starting out as Discoverer?

    EDIT: At 14:40, I remembered correctly.

  88. serge00storms

    Thanks for the Video. Good luck with the Vine jump and the goomba jump

  89. Daniel Antonetti

    Why don’t you have over 1mil subscribers yet? You’re amazing. Love the content and you’re nostalgic style

  90. mgcamp85

    Really enjoying this series. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  91. Awesomus Maximus

    Thankyou bringer of awesome

  92. jerryl davis

    Great video . Awesome job.

  93. c0rr4nh0rn

    Do you have pointers to non US/USSR spy satellites for contrast?

  94. William Butcher

    The title looks like a headline we would’ve seen at the start of the pandemic 🤣🦠

  95. FandersonUfo

    enjoying your recent vid topics Amy – ty – 🛸👽💚

  96. Sonic FIeld

    I am loving this series; puts ‘commercial TV’ to shame. Just amazing. Thanks so much.

  97. Mark Whittum

    More cool history time! 😎

  98. MusiX

    love from sri lanka

  99. Bombyhead :3


  100. carter films


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