Images taken by US satellite that spied on Russia during the Cold War are being ...

The Corona Project was a classified US military mission comprised of a satellite tasked with spying on Russia during the Cold War and decades later, it is producing vital environmental data.

Although inadvertently, the satellite captured one million images of Earth’s landscape during the 1960s and 1970s, which scientists are using as a 'time machine' to see how much our world has changed.

The collection includes a black and white snapshot from the 1960s of a future dam site in Turkey and decades later, an image shows a large body of water at the center of the region.

The imagery is crucial to studying shifts in biodiversity, species decline and climate change starting from 50 years ago.

Decades later, an image shows a large body of water at the center of the region.

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The Corona Project was a classified US military mission comprised of a satellite tasked with spying on Russia during the Cold War and decades later, it is producing vital environmental data. The collection includes a black and white snapshot (left) from the 1960s of a future dam site in Turkey and decades later, an image shows a large body of water (right( at the center of the region

The Corona Project came about in the 1950s, when the Soviets became a nuclear powerhouse after unveiling of a long-range bomber and the intercontinental ballistic missile.

As William O. Studeman, acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, observed in 1995, ‘CORONA was conceived in … an era when facts were scarce and fears were rampant.’

The project was tasked with operating a reconnaissance satellite, fitted with a panoramic camera, which soared over and snapped images of Soviet Bloc countries.

Catalina Munteanu, an ecologist and geographer at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, told The World: ‘We’re talking about pictures taken by rockets in space on film rolls, that were then parachuted to the ground and captured midair by military planes before they could land and be captured by Soviet intelligence.

Another photo snapped by the satellite highlights a Boslebi village in Georgia, which was part of the reconnaissance mission
Today, the same village has expanded its farmland

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The imagery is crucial to studying shifts in biodiversity, species decline and climate change starting from 50 years ago. Another photo snapped by the satellite highlights a Boslebi village in Georgia, which was part of the reconnaissance mission, and today, that village had expanded its farmland

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