Declassified American Government Documents Show a Broad and In-Depth Interest in Soviet Space Activities

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P. Pesavento (2003), JBIS, 56, 175-191

Refcode: 2003.56.175
Keywords: US Intelligence, N-1 Rocket, National Intelligence Estimate, Princeton Grouping, Soviet Space, Zond 5

Back in 1993, when this author was able to acquire one of the first US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) documents declassified on the Soviet Space Program [1], there was a dearth of materials concerning the USSR's space activities from a US intelligence perspective. Now, a decade on, the situation has dramatically changed. As a plethora of US government agencies labor to disgorge their materials from the era of the Cold War, space historians and observers now have access to many new documents, which shed both exciting and new light on Soviet space activities, and how the US viewed as well as interpreted them. Coupled with the fact that many of these are now available to be read via the Internet, and with most of the documents available only recently, a new era in space history research is now in hand. This article is intended to provide a broad overview of what is now available, and mention some highlights.


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