by Ronald P.
In March 1958, I started working for Lockheed, in Sunnyvale, on the first Polaris missile program. I worked on a checkout system to be installed on the first ballistic missile submarine, the USS George Washington. I designed a single console to house a tape drive that would check out each missile before launch. This was done because the original planned checkout system (ACRE) was cancelled.
When I was transferred to Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, I was eventually assigned to the, since declassified, Corona project. Corona satellites were used for photographic surveillance and were designed to be caught by C-130 aircraft over the Pacific.
The first series of photos were not captured, and I was asked to design the package that told the system engineers why they lost the recovery packages. The program continued for over 12 years.