Hans Mark at MIT – 2000 MA Space Grant Consortium Public Lecture


[MUSIC PLAYING] PRESENTER: We have had a
distinguished series of leaders in the space program
who have addressed this community before. They’re listed on the back of
the blue program, which I hope you all picked up in the past. And that list is
going to be added to by an equally-distinguished
member of our community, an old friend who has what
arguably is the best job in Washington– at least
the best job in Washington for a scientist– the honorable Hans
Mark is currently the director of defense
research and engineering in the Department
of Defense, which means that he gets to spend
enormous amounts of money doing anything he likes,
as I understand his job description– as
long as it has to do with appropriate innovative
work in science and engineering. This is coming back
home for Hans Mark who was a graduate student
in physics here back in the early ’50s. And he told me that
he’s going to be meeting with a number of his
contemporaries for a reunion dinner tonight. He was working on
neutron physics back in the days when the Van
der Graaf Generators were over in East Campus, over
where the East Garage is and the construction
is going on now. He served after his graduate
degree as acting head of the neutron physics
group here at MIT in 1954, went out to Lawrence
Livermore lab for a bit, came back to MIT where he served
on the faculty as an assistant professor of physics 1958 and
’59, until finally the pull of Edward Teller– and those of you who have
met Dr. Teller understand how strong that pull can be– pulled Dr. Mark
back to California to the Lawrence
Livermore laboratories where he continued a
very distinguished career leading to his appointment for
nearly a decade on the faculty at nuclear engineering
at Berkeley. I crossed paths with
Dr. Mark many times. Each time, I found
it to be fascinating. I found him to be a man who
had a wide range of interests. First in my
experience was when I was doing flight simulator
research at NASA Ames Research Center. And Dr. Mark was the director
of NASA Ames Research Center covering a
whole range of topics for what would now be
called astrobiology to planetary physics
and was responsible for the innovation of
several of the earliest satellites for
scientific exploration of the solar system. After leaving NASA Ames in
1977 and going to Washington, I found I bumped
into him again when I was on the scientific advisory
board under Professor Culvert. And there was Dr. Mark, his
undersecretary of defense, and was trying to relate the
virtues, as I told him today, the virtues of
long-term R&D programs by referring us back to
the virtues of Isaac Newton having supported the long-term
development of the chronograph. Dr. Mark has had more
than his share of time leading us in academia. He is a professor of aerospace
engineering and engineering mechanics at the University
of Texas at Austin and at the University of Texas. He was their chancellor of the
Texas system from 1985 to 1992. Dr. Mark is a welcome addition
to those in the space community who have had the opportunity
to visit us here at MIT. He is going to talk
today about something that he wasn’t allowed to
talk about for many years. And when he gave me
a choice of topics, I said this is the
one that we want to hear about, because it
was off in the black world for so long. Dr. Mark will talk to us
about space operations during the Cold War. Hans Mark. [APPLAUSE] MARK: OK, excellent. OK. See, I still know how
to do gadgets, Hugh. I have to apologize,
because in the Pentagon, would you believe, we’re frugal. The biography they
sent up was a duplex on two sides,
Xeroxed on two sides, and they only got
the first side. And that’s why the blue
thing doesn’t mention MIT. So I apologize. I really was here. I remember a lot of people
here who haven’t changed a bit. And it’s great to see
all the new faces. So it’s a pleasure
to be here, Larry. Thank you so much
for the invitation. I do want to talk about
something that up until 1994 was classified. And what I am permitted
to say is really only– why don’t you come on down? There are more seats. Don’t be bashful. Just step over feet. If you want to walk around here. There you go. It was classified up until 1994. And the very existence
of the organization that conceived, developed,
built, and actually operated the satellites was classified. So all of– the whole thing
was supposed to be carried out under this umbrella. I’ll get into the
reasons for that soon, but what really was
interesting, of course, is that the
classification was really part of a fairly carefully– I don’t know. In the Pentagon, they
always make up these slides. I’m sorry. You need to know that
Sheila Widnall is one of my successors as
secretary of the Air Force– but, Sheila, I have
to claim public credit for getting you interested
in the Air Force, because I was the one who got
you on the Board of Visitors of the Air Force Academy. So that was back in 1979 or
so– ’78, something like that. You haven’t changed a bit. You still look great. Let me start by just talking a
little bit about reconnaissance in general. Aerial reconnaissance
has a long history because people used balloons
for aerial reconnaissance 200 years ago. And in the United
States, in the Civil War, that was the first time it was
really developed consciously. And the first aerial
photograph, actually, was a picture taken from
a balloon here in Boston. It’s a picture of downtown
Boston with Beacon Hill, and the Capital, and all that. And it’s a very nice
high-resolution picture, because it’s taken,
basically, by pinhole camera. So I don’t know what the
news rating would be, but I’ll show it
to you sometime. News rating is an in-house
term for resolution. And so on and so forth– airplanes were used for
reconnaissance, of course, in combat. And in World War II, of
course, aerial reconnaissance came into its own. It was widely-used. And it was decisive
in many instances. For example, the Bismarck
was spotted by a PBY– I can’t remember what was
the name for those things– the twin engine ones. You almost had it. I’ll remember it in a minute. And, of course, in
the Battle of Midway, those same airplanes also
were the decisive element in spotting the Japanese fleet. The P-38 was also– it had a reconnaissance
version that was called F-5A. And the reason I
mention that at all, it was designed by Kelly Johnson
who later designed the U-2. And Johnson was very
interested in reconnaissance from the word go. And the aerial cameras,
interestingly enough, were developed by people here
from MIT, later [INAUDIBLE] and other companies
that spun off from MIT. So there is a long history
of involvement here at MIT in aerial
reconnaissance and, of course, the related field of
photo interpretation also became highly-valued. And Constance Babington Smith
who was a Royal Air Force officer in World War II was the
person who identified the V-2 rockets at Peenemunde
for the first time and– come on in. Sit down. Yeah. I hate to– oh, I hate
to see people stand up. All right. Anyway, she was the one who
identified those pictures for the first time and
alerted everybody to the fact that there was
something new coming on. Now, after the end
of the Second World War, aerial
reconnaissance, of course– is that– I don’t think
that’s quite focused. How do we– no, that’s good. That’s better now. Yeah. OK, all right. Really, the principal
reason for reconnaissance was the Soviet nuclear testing. At that time, the
Soviet Union was closed. And one had to figure out how to
look at the nuclear test sites to find out what
they were doing. And the first Soviet
nuclear explosion was in 1949 in
September, and the debris from that explosion,
the radioactive debris, were picked up by a RB-29,
a reconnaissance version of the 29. And the first hydrogen bomb
was about four years later in August 1953. So there was a reason for
doing aerial reconnaissance. And I’ve already
mentioned Kelly Johnson. What was done, of
course, was to develop a high-altitude
aircraft, the U-2. Kelly Johnson designed
that airplane. And the important
point is this one here, that both the aerial
reconnaissance, the advanced airplanes, and the satellites
I’m going to talk about, were developed because
of a committee that was headed by Jim Killian,
who was at that time the president of MIT, and Edwin
Land, who was at that time the head of the
Polaroid Corporation. I found out, much
to my pleasure, that the author of this
biography of Edwin Land is in our audience here– Dr. [INAUDIBLE]. And I haven’t seen– this must be the first
biography of Land. Is that right? Yes. This is the first
biography of Edwin Land. He was an absolutely
remarkable person. Had a very strong
connection with MIT. I think he was an institute
professor after a while, wasn’t he? I believe that after
he quit Polaroid, he came over here to teach. I worked with him briefly when
I was a graduate student here. Interestingly enough,
the project I was on was that he was asked by the
American Institute of Physics to give– they used
to have these lectures on the various
topics of physics. And he was asked to give
the lecture on optics. And he hired me to help
him write that lecture. So I learned almost all I knew
about optics from Edwin Land. A very, very remarkable guy. $$$ This committee was
set up in 1954. It was actually chartered
by President Truman in the– I’m sorry–
President Eisenhower. The charge to the
committee was how do we do reconnaissance
over [INAUDIBLE] territory, over the then Soviet Union. And the committee did something
that was very interesting. They said, let’s build
this airplane, the U-2. And the project for the U-2
was initiated in November, ’54. The first flight
was in July, ’55. And the first operational
mission was in July, 1956. I wish I could say that we could
do things like this as rapidly now as we used to do them then. The remarkable thing about this
committee was that they said, airplanes get shot down. At some point or
other, the Soviets will learn how to
shoot down a U-2. And we better have
something in our back pocket when that happens. Not if it happens, but when. And so they also initiated
at the same time, a program of
Earth-orbiting satellites as the ultimate solution to
the reconnaissance business. And that, of course, is
the main topic of my talk. You do remember that the U-2
was shot down in May, 1960. And what is remarkable is
that the first reconnaissance satellite was launched a
couple of months later. Yeah, come on in and sit down. We’ve got plenty of room. All you have to do is step on a
few toes, but other than that– Now, Earth-orbiting
satellites were, you know, the subject of science
fiction for a long time. But the first really
serious calculation of what you’d have to do to
get an Earth-orbiting satellite into orbit and do
something useful with it was made in 1946 by a group
at what was then the Douglas Aircraft Corporation
and then spun off to be the Rand Corporation. And that was called
the preliminary design of an experimental
world-circling spaceship. And in that report, one
of the major reasons for doing this was to say if
you put a camera on this thing and look at the Earth, you can
do military reconnaissance. So that was from the very
beginning in 1946, something to do. I’ve already said that the
program was initiated in 1955. And there were really
two distinct programs that were recommended by
the Killian Land Committee. One was essentially
a program that was supposed to observe missiles
that were being launched. And the other one
was a program to take high-resolution
pictures to judge what technical capabilities
the Soviets were developing. As I’ve already
mentioned, the U-2 was shot down in May of 1960,
and in October, the first Samos satellite was launched, the
first photographic satellite was launched. So the Killian Land Committee,
the parallel recommendation that we do high-altitude
airplanes and satellites at the same time turned out
to be a very important thing. That launch was a failure, but
the first successful flight was carried out in 1961. The codename for this
thing was Corona. More than a hundred Corona
missions were flown. I think it was, in fact,
152 if I remember correctly. The program was
terminated in 1972, and has been
declassified since 1994. And I’m going to talk
about that in some detail. And then I can talk
about other things that we’ve done, because
some of the other things have been declassified, but
they will be stories rather than detailed data. Let me– this is one
final word chart. There was a debate as to how
to run this satellite program. And there were really
three considerations. And that’s the first
bullet up there. First of all, the customer
was the president. So that the word National in
National Reconnaissance Office means that it was set up
to serve the president’s requirements to know
what was going on. Both civilian and
military people would be involved,
because there was a mix of civilians and
military who had capabilities in this business. And that meant that you
couldn’t give it simply to a military service. You had to kind of mix it
up and create something new. And the last point is that
secrecy must be preserved. And that secrecy really
had two separate reasons. The first was that you are
gathering intelligence, and you don’t want the
gatherees, the people you’re gathering on, to know how good
you are or how bad you are or what you know or
what you don’t know. So there was technical secrecy. But there was an even more
important reason for secrecy. By this time, Khrushchev
was in office. There were still problems. But it was really
the era of the thaw. You remember there were the– the summit meetings began when
the coldest part of the Cold War was really kind of over. And the Russians
let us know that– OK, we know you’re going
to do these satellites, but we’d rather not
that you talk about it. It would be harmful to our own
position in the Soviet Union. And we’d like you to
keep this very secret. And so we said, yeah, we’re
going to keep it secret anyhow. And so secrecy, therefore,
was agreed upon tacitly by both sides. It was also a kind
of secrecy where there were, over the
years, calculated leaks, because, as I will
tell you shortly, one of the very
important things that we did with these satellites was
to do the monitoring of arms control treaties. And consequently, it was
important for people to know, in quotes, that we
couldn’t demonitor them without telling people
overtly that we were doing it. And certainly without
giving away the capabilities of the systems. And so there was kind of an
interesting situation where when I was serving as director
of the National Reconnaissance Office in the late 1970s, where
a newspaper man would call you up and say, you know, what’s
going on with monitoring such and such, and I would say,
what are you talking about. And, well, we know
you’re ahead of the NRO. And I said, what’s that? And so we had this
rather strange situation where people would know. And then we would have
to say a few things. And finally, we’d kind of wink. And, you know, say something
that somebody in the White House or in the State Department
had decided that yeah, we ought to let people know
that, that we can detect such and such or this and that. So it was a secret
organization that had an important public function. The public function,
of course, was to create confidence
in the public, that we could indeed enter into
these treaties in such a way that we could know that
they were being honored. Anyway, the solution
to all of this was a single organization, the
National Reconnaissance Office, and it was conceived to develop,
build, and operate satellites. It did all the four things. That’s a unique thing. The director of the
NRO was a senior member of the intelligence community. And the undersecretary’s
position in the Air Force was the cover name for that. So in my biography, it
says I was undersecretary of the Air Force. What I was really
doing was this. Now, there is another
interesting thing about the NRO, because
the head of the NRO is the only other
civilian in the Pentagon who actually has command
authority over the military. You see, the
Secretary of Defense has command authority through
the chain to the president and then to the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs, and so on. The head of the NRO commands
a military organization. The ground stations,
the various facilities, necessary to run the
satellite systems are manned by the Air Force. And sometimes by the Navy. So there are military
organizations, and these organizations
actually take direct orders from the NRO staff. So the NRO is, in a very
real operational sense, a military organization. It is interesting that
when I was director– it’s now become– of course, now that
it’s declassified, it’s much larger, for one thing. A lot of other things
were incorporated. They have a fine building
now in Chantilly, Virginia. If you ever go– I was absolutely blown away when
I saw this thing with the NRO letters on it, which were
totally secret in my day. We were hiding in a small
office suite in the Pentagon in the C-Ring, which is, you
know, way below the salt, so to speak. But now it’s a fancy office. But it’s also different. It’s changed, and
it has, in addition to the responsibilities
it used to have, which were primarily
peacetime reconnaissance, it now also has a large job of
supporting military operations. And so it’s really a very
different kind of thing today than it was in the
years that I headed it. And I– let’s see– I was director from
early 1977 to late ’79– about two and a half years. And that was sort of the
height of the mission where our primary mission was
arms control, because you’ll remember that in the
Carter administration, SALT II was coming on. And the president’s
major function was to– or a major objective was
to push that through. And in order to do that, we had
to demonstrate that we could actually monitor the treaty. The office was
chartered in 1960. And Joe Charyk was
the first director. Now let me talk about physics
and engineering for a while. Enough of the politics. The first photographic
reconnaissance satellite that was really an operational
vehicle was this one here. This is the Corona satellite. KH 4 was the code word for it. And this thing was a
rather large thing. It was about– [INAUDIBLE] Let’s see if I can
work this thing. Good. This was about maybe
15 feet by 7 feet. So it’s a big thing. And it was a
photographic camera. This is the film roll, and
here are the two cameras. There were two panning cameras– and I’ll show you a diagram
of this thing shortly– and the film was exposed
in a cassette up here, and the camera rotated. And as the lens rotated
past the ground here, it would scan the
image on this film. And when the camera wasn’t
looking at the ground, the film would advance. And then, it would
take the next one. And you had two cameras,
and you rotated them in opposite directions so
that the moment of inertia was canceled out. And so you had a spacecraft
that you could easily control. It was a pretty clever design. There were also, up front
here, what we call the buckets. And these were the take-up
spools for the film. There were two
buckets on this thing. This is the first one, and
here’s the second one here. And these have heat
shields on them. And these were recovered. We would drop these
off and recover them. And the way this thing
worked is that it was recovered close to Hawaii. We had a squadron
of airplanes here, and I’ll show you a
picture of one shortly. And we rigged up a way of
snagging the things coming in on the parachutes, and
then we would haul them. We did this several
hundred times, and in that period, only
two buckets were lost, which was a pretty good record. Let me show you some more
details on this thing. By the way, the Cage 4– you can
see this in the Air and Space Museum. This is a blown-up
model of the Cage 4. Here are the two– this is one camera, and
here’s the other one. And the spool is here. And then, here is
the first bucket. And then the second
one was here. And they took the
shield off so they could show how to take up spool work. And this is about
the size of it. I don’t know where
they have it now. When I took this– I actually took this picture. Right after they
put the exhibit up, they had it next to the
escalators there in the museum. Here’s a top view of this thing. And again, you can see
the general structure of this thing. This film, I think, was
about 125 millimeters. Something like that. I can’t quite remember
it, but it’s a big film. And of course,
the optical system had a 15 centimeter lens on it. Let me show you a line
drawing so that you can get a little more details on that. And then, we’ll get to showing
you how the geometry actually worked. This is the line drawing. So here’s the film spool. Here are the two cameras. Here are the two buckets. And then, there
were other things. Of course, you had to
stabilize this thing in space, so you had to have star sensors
to keep it locked onto a star. And it had to be
stabilized very carefully, because if you want
high resolution, you don’t want the
camera to vibrate. So that was one of the important
technical problems here– to develop a
guidance system that gave you really a good
three-axis stabilization so that you could take
these pictures. And you had to have, of
course, three references. And one was a star. There was a horizon sensor. And I don’t quite remember
how the rest of it worked, but I’ll have
some pictures of it later on so you can– yeah, in fact, here it is. Here is a line drawing
of how this thing worked. The satellite– this is
a cutaway that shows only the cameras– and then, the star sensor. There is an index camera
to number the film. And there is a
horizon camera here, which stabilizes the
thing against the horizon. These were in nearly
circular orbits. And they were low orbits of
the order of 100 nautical miles or so. And I’ve already said the
cameras rotate around, and as they rotate, they
pan across these things on the ground here. This is about 150 nautical
miles by 150 nautical miles. And the cameras, as I already
said, are counter-rotating. And of course, when you do this,
you get stereoscopic images. That’s one of the
things that was really important about this
thing– that we couldn’t get good stereo images. But this is the way
the thing worked. And of course, as it flew
in orbit around the world, it covered a lot of territory. Let me show you the territory
covered in a sample mission. This is in one mission. These were the pictures
that were taken. Missions used to
last a few days– maybe a week or two– before you brought
the buckets back. You can sort of see
that the target was the evil empire at the time. And these were chosen for
various reasons– missile fields, or industrial
centers, or something. Middle East was
of interest then, and so I think this
may have been at a time when India and China
were having problems. So this was taken here. China is a target. Korea, of course, was
and still is a target. But a sample mission
would run something like 3 million square miles. So you’ve got, say, one
United States in each mission. Got it? OK. Now, I promised to show you
how the things were picked up. This was an old Fairchild C-119. And this had a back door. We finally used 130s for this,
rather than these airplanes. But you’ll notice there
was this rig out here. And this loop here
caught the parachute. Here’s the bucket, and
there’s the parachute. And you’d fly along and watch
the parachute come down, and the pilot would fly over it,
and catch it, and pick it up. I went out on one
of these missions, and it was kind of fun. These were US Air
Force airplanes. And sometimes, we
had a helicopter. When the thing was
close enough to the Y, we had a helicopter down there
to fish it out of the water if we missed it. But that was the way these
buckets were picked up. From the Corona system,
you’d have your data back within a couple of weeks. So it wasn’t totally real
time, but it was pretty good. This is the first satellite
photograph from a Samos mission of an airfield in
Eastern Russia, taken on August 18, 1960. And here, you can see the
runway and the tarmac– the flight line. The resolution wasn’t
very good because we hadn’t learned, really, how
to tweak this thing yet. But that is kind of historical,
because that’s the first one. And again, let me repeat–
the remarkable thing is that it was taken a few months
after the U-2 was shot down. And for [INAUDIBLE] Land,
and Killian, and those people to sit down and say,
hey, the airplanes are going to get shot
down, we better start on satellites– and then,
to arrange the program so that the satellites were
ready when the airplane got shot down– was really something
quite unique, I thought. Now, I told you that
the real reason for this was the counting of
the strategic weapons. And this is a
typical picture that was taken in 1962 of
an ICBM site here, and the support areas,
and all these things. People always ask
me, did the Soviets do the same thing to us? And the answer is– they had
reconnaissance satellites, but they really
didn’t need them, because you can drive
around the United States and see these things out west. And the locations are public
knowledge, so it’s no big deal. Anyway, this is a missile site. Very early on, in
the early ’60s, it became apparent
that one of the things that the NRO could
do, and did, was to help with various disasters. Now, this was not a disaster. This was a volcanic eruption
on the Kamchatka Peninsula. And you can see that
the sun was over here. Let’s see. I always get confused here. This is the lava flow. This is the shadow of
the volcanic cone, here. And then, there is a
steam vent over here. The main point is that
you could very quickly analyze what was going wrong
in a volcanic explosion. I remember– during
my time as director, there was a major eruption
of a volcano in South America and Columbia, and there
was a real disaster. What happened was that this
mountain had snow on it. And of course, when
the top blows off, the snow turns into water. That turns into mud, and it goes
down the side of the mountain and sweeps everything
out in its way. We were able to spot, with our
satellites, isolated people that had to be rescued. And of course, once we had
the satellite pictures, we deployed U-2s. And these reconnaissance
capabilities had been used for disaster
mitigation all along. I remember we also had an
earthquake in Mexico City that we monitored and looked at. We actually declassified
some of the pictures, even when I was director. And what we did was we
fuzzied the resolution so that we could
declassify them. And then, we just gave
them to the rescue people who had to do the job. Of course, China
became a target when they became a nuclear power. This is the first Chinese
nuclear test in 1964. This is the crater, here. The Chinese test site always had
these circular exclusion zones. I don’t know how they do
these circles on the ground, but it’s kind of remarkable. They really had this
unique thing that– before they’d run an
explosion somewhere, they’d have a circular– you see this one here? They had these circular
exclusion zones. But that’s 1964 at Lop Nur. This is in Western China. Here is a typical picture
that was taken during the mid-’60s for
reasons of arms control. This is a Soviet
strategic airbase. This is a long runway. And here, you can see– you can’t see it very well. I should have enlarged
the flight line, here. But there are about
50 heavy bombers. These are a mixture
of the Badgers and the Backfires that
they had at the time. I’m sorry, that’s too
early for the Backfire. These are Badgers and Tu-97s. And they were on this line here. And there were about 50 of them. And of course, in the
arms control negotiations, the question of how you count
these things was important. And really, the
early satellites were terribly important in
giving people confidence that you could do the counting. One of the things that happened
to me, when I was director, is that– I’ve already mentioned
that President Carter wanted to do SALT-II. We had an arrangement
with the Congress, when I became director in
1977, that the National Reconnaissance Office would
get a billion dollars a year, no questions asked. There were only two
people in the Congress who were cleared at the time,
and they were the two heads of the intelligence committees. Not even the Armed Services
Committee people were cleared. And there were no
staffers cleared. And the budget was hidden
in the Air Force budget, and the Air Force
budget is big enough so that a billion dollars
here and there didn’t attract too much attention. But what happened in
1977 was that SALT-II was a treaty that was quite
sophisticated in the things that had to be monitored. And I remember Spurgeon
Keeny, who was at that time the deputy director of the
Arms Control Agency, came to me and said, what can we do
with the systems we have? Because we had
better write a treaty that’s consistent with
what we can monitor. And in our talk, we
came to the conclusion that we really couldn’t
write a treaty beyond SALT-I that would be reachable by the
current system that we had. And so we decided that we
would go to President Carter and say, look, if you’re
going to do the SALT-II, then we need more
satellite systems. And I remember that Keeny– his boss was Paul Warnke– we went to see the president. And Carter said, well, how
much do you think it’ll cost? And so my horseback guess
was another billion dollars. Turned out to be 2, by the way. When I left the NRO, we
had a budget of 3 billion. And the president
said, OK, go do it. But then he said,
you know, we’re not going to get this
through the Congress. And so 1978 was
the first year when we had to go and clear a lot
of people in the Congress, because in order to break
that billion-dollar barrier, we really had to go and
tell more people about it. And so really, for
the first time, the NRO had to establish the
normal kind of relationships with the Congress. What that meant was that we
had to make some pictures that people would see. I’m showing you one that looks
like one of those pictures. I can’t show you the real one
because it’s still classified. But what we did was we
took pictures of things around Washington. This is the Washington
Monument, here. And the reason I had a very
good resolution picture of this thing for– and here’s the– see, I’ve got
to get myself oriented here. This must be the bridge. Yeah, this is the
14th Street Bridge. And this is, I think, the
Agriculture Department. And it goes down this way. Anyway, this is the
Washington Monument. And of course, the
important point is that sometimes, you want to
know how tall a missile was. And you do that by looking at
the shadow and the sun angle. And I remember we had a picture
like this for the people in the Congress
where we could say, hey, fellas, we can tell
how big these things are. And of course, once we
started doing that– I remember going around
the halls of the Congress with these pictures,
showing them to the people who had recently been cleared. And of course, one
thing we always did was to take a picture
of the Pentagon. And those of you who have
lived in the Pentagon will know that there is a
hamburger joint down here which is called Ground Zero. And in the summertime,
we go have lunch there. Now, one of the very
interesting things that came out of the later missions–
and I’m showing you, now, a picture that was taken
with infrared film– was the assessment of
Soviet agriculture. You remember that the
Soviets, a number of times, cornered the grain market,
and we wanted to prevent that. And to do that,
we had to estimate what their yield would be. And the way that was done
was to fly these things with infrared film. And then– unfortunately, I
don’t have a color picture of this– it turns out that the
individual crops have rather unique signatures
so that if you, say, have a three-filter camera, you
can tell whether you’re looking at wheat, or
corn, or vegetables, or things of that kind. And this is an example
in Lompoc, California, where there’s a lot of
truck farming around here. And we did this systematically
with the Soviet Union, and predicted the yields
better than they could. And eventually, of
course, we told them that, and they said, well, why did you
tell us what you’re learning? And of course,
this, as you know, is a commercial thing now. You can buy these pictures. And people who are in the
agricultural business do so. Here’s another
interesting picture. This, by the way, is one
of the best pictures that was taken by the Corona system. This is the shipyard
in Severodvinsk, which is up on the White Sea. They built the submarines
in this building. This is a huge building here. And then, these were basins
that they’d fill up when they launched the submarine. This was taken in February,
so this whole harbor is frozen over. In fact, you can see
tracks of vehicles here that they ran on the snow– on the ice, rather. The resolution this thing
is about a foot and a half. Here are the docks. Here’s a submarine. And these were the
docks where the finished ships, where
the nuclear fuel was installed here, in this area. I remember one amusing incident
was that we had a problem– we had somehow
miscounted the number of submarines the Russians had. They had more than
we thought they had. And that was rather a
mystery for a while– until we saw a submarine
here, at this dock. And it looked like
a black missile sub. And then, that night,
there was a storm. And when the next
picture was taken, the submarine was bent
into a 90-degree angle. And the mystery was
solved– because they had made some dummy submarines
basically out of rubber, I guess, and had parked them
in with the other submarines. And it wasn’t until
we saw this one that was destroyed
in the storm that we realized what they had done. So there was a certain
amount of Cops and Robbers that went with this thing. There’s another reason
why this picture is clear, by the way– because at
northern latitudes, when there’s no wind, the air becomes very,
very transparent– very, very still. All the junk is condensed out. And it gets cold up there. So you really have
a very clear view. Here is another
interesting picture. I showed you the
pictures of Washington. Then, of course, we have to also
show you pictures of Moscow. This is the Moscow River, here. And here’s the Kremlin. And here is an enlargement
of the Kremlin. And what was interesting
about this picture is that this was 1970. Here are the people lined
up to go into Lenin’s Tomb. See the line of people? So eventually, we
got to the point where we could actually
see individual people on the ground. I remember– the
only time, Sheila, that I ever got
called by a president was by President Carter. He called usually
for two reasons. One was when we didn’t give
him the pictures that morning, and he wanted to know
what the hell happened. And he was an engineer, so he
wasn’t satisfied with just, “It isn’t working.” He wanted to know why. The other time he would
call was for serious things. This business of
looking at people was important once,
when the Chinese invaded North Vietnam in 1979– or ’78, I think it was. And remember that North
Vietnam was really a satellite of Russia, and
China was rather ambivalent about this whole business
of war there, and so on. And after the war was over,
they invaded North Vietnam. And I remember the Russians
threatened to invade China. And we got a call from the White
House saying, is this credible? And so we targeted the border
between Russia and China with our satellites. And I remember the first
pictures that came back. I looked at them,
and there were troops out playing soccer
and doing things– it was crystal clear that
they weren’t mobilized. They weren’t ready
to go anywhere. And we showed those to the
president and said, look, the Russians are bluffing. That’s the kind of value that
the president put to satellite reconnaissances– because
by doing this kind of thing, you could gauge intentions,
which was important. In that same incident, we
also discovered something else that was interesting. And let me digress for a
minute from these satellites, and talk about
other things that we do from space, which are
still highly classified. I can’t talk about
how well we do it, but I can tell you that we
intercept messages in space. And we watched the Chinese
invasion of North Vietnam and intercepted the chatter,
the traffic, the voice radios. And I remember listening to
one tape where a guy commanding a tank column says, we
were coming down this road, but the North Vietnamese
have artillery on the hill over there, and
they’re going to shoot at us. And we’re about out of gasoline. So I’m not going to go in there
and then be a sitting duck. And so the colonel back in the– says, you better go. And so then, the captain in
command of this tank platoon says, well, where’s
the gasoline? And so the colonel
said, you’ll get it. You’ll get it soon. So we were interested
in this whole incident, and we targeted it with
our photo satellite. And what we discovered
was that these tanks were sitting in front of
this artillery position. The captain did not, in fact,
go until he got his gasoline. And he got his gasoline
by a mule train that came up with
gasoline cans– jerrycans on either side. And that gave you
an insight into the logistical capabilities
of the Chinese army. I mean, they had modern tanks. They had modern comm gear. But the gasoline
came up with mules. So these were the kind
of incidents that– AUDIENCE: So you had
moved beyond hill drops at this point, right? MARK: That’s right. By then, we had
real-time imagery. We had electro-optical systems. So I just mentioned the fact
that the breakthrough, here, was seeing individual people. And from then on, we had
systems that could do that. We also did a lot
of economic work. This was interesting,
because gold is another thing where the Soviets– they had a lot to do with
the gold market, and so on. And we used to target
their plaster mining. You can see this kind of
thing all over California. Basically, you fill
up a basin here, and you run a dredge in it. And then, these are the
remains of the plaster mining. And this is a more accurate
picture of the dredging operation, here. But the interesting thing
is that the side information we got here is that there was
a logging area next to this, and they were clear-cutting
this mountain. So we learned that they were
sure as hell digging gold, and that their logging
techniques were essentially to clear-cut large areas. Now, they had a lot of forest– many more than we have– but these were the kind of
things that were pretty common. And these were accidental
targeting, rather than deliberate ones. Let me just run through
these very quickly. This is an IRBM complex. This was very controversial
because people worried about ranges of
rockets, and should they be in the treaty or out
of the treaty, and so on. So we did a lot of work on that. This one’s ’71. This was almost before– remember, this program
was shut down in ’72. So by this time, we already
had better satellites. We also made some
very interesting archaeological discoveries that
were pretty much by accident. This is the remains of
a Roman fort in Jordan. And this is
underground, by the way. You can’t see it
from the ground. But you can see the– here’s some modern buildings. But it was really located first
by this satellite picture. And probably, the
most interesting environmental things that we’ve
done have to do with the fact that the Corona system
started in 1960. And so we have 12
years of history that we didn’t know about until
this thing was declassified in 1992– ’94, rather. And you remember the
stories about the Aral Sea were published for the
first time in that year. And the reason was that we
had pictures of the Aral Sea as it was before the
real problems began. What happened was that
the Russians encouraged mass immigrations to the regions
to the south of the Aral Sea, where the river– see,
there’s a mountain range down here in the south
that’s part of the Himalayas, actually. And the runoff from those
mountains fed the Aral Sea. And what they did was they
encouraged agriculture in this area down here,
that was irrigated by rivers that came from
these mountains here. And so the Aral Sea
didn’t get any water. And it evaporated. And you can see this picture
here was taken in 1962, and this was 1994– 32 years later. And so these extra 12 years
gave us a real picture of what happened there. And of course, this
is only one example. There are numerous examples
of this where we actually could extend the period that
where we were monitoring various environmental things. Let me wind up now just
with one other slide here. And this is a summary of the
achievements of the system. I mentioned this one
here, and I really think this is the
most important thing. I don’t think we’d have any arms
control treaties if it weren’t for the satellites we had. Technical capabilities– let
me tell you another story that was interesting. I ran an aeronautical laboratory
for a while in the 1970s. How many of you in this
room have heard of something called the Caspian Sea Monster? There are a few of you. I’d better tell you this story
of the Caspian Sea Monster, then. In the late 1960s, one of
our attachés in Moscow– in those days, you got to
Moscow by going through Tehran. You flew Pan American to Tehran,
and then you flew Aeroflot up to Moscow. This guy was flying on
the Aeroflot airplane over the Caspian Sea. And there, in the
Caspian Sea, he saw, looking down,
a huge airplane flying at low altitude. The thing had– I don’t remember, Sheila. It had canards, I thing, and
two engines on the canards. And it had wings with three
engines under each wing. And then, it had a high tail
with a couple more engines on the tail. It was really bizarre. And I remember I was
sitting at Ames at the time, and an Air Force colonel
came by with some pictures of this thing that had
come out of the NRO. And he showed them to
me, and then he said, can you tell me what this is? So I said, well, if you can
get me some better pictures, maybe we can make some
wind tunnel models, and actually test the
thing in the wind tunnels, and find out how
this thing works. And so we got some quite
good satellite pictures of this thing– in flight, in the water,
on the ramp, and so on. They built about four
of these, I would say. But they were 747-sized
aircrafts– and probably heavier, because
they had more engines and they were kind
of low-tech machines. And I remember reporting
to what was then called the Foreign Intelligence
Division at Wright Field. And I went there, and
I gave him the results, and I gave a little
talk about it. And I said, whatever it is,
it doesn’t fly very well. It’s just not a good airplane. And it would only work in
a ground effect– that is, it would really
only work at low– maybe 50 feet above the ground. But not better. And so the mystery
was, what were they going to do with this thing? And so for years, the
Caspian Sea Monster was always on the
top of the agenda of all of these intelligence
committees, and so on. And finally, when I became
secretary of the Air Force, one of the things that
happened was that the Foreign Intelligence Division came by. And sure enough, on
the top of the agenda was the Caspian Sea Monster. So I said, you mean you’re
really still worrying about this thing? And they said,
well, yeah but we’ve got to figure out what it is. And I said, I’ll
tell you what is. It’s a screw-up. They didn’t know
what they were doing. And then, I said, it is the
nature of the Soviet Union that it is highly probable
that the vice admiral who runs this program is
married to a cousin of a member of the
Politburo, and they don’t know how to shut him down. So several times, we
had things like this. And seriously, one of the
characteristic things about the Soviet Union– and probably
one of the things that drove them under, eventually– was that they do not
have the review system we have here– the
adversary system. And so what that means is
that they’ll start a program– and we had a number
of facilities, like this, that were truly
mysterious, because we really couldn’t say, well,
they don’t quite know what they’re doing,
because maybe they knew more than we did. So we always had to
be a little careful. But they don’t have
both the classified and the unclassified
adversarial system we have here. The public discussion over
whether some weapon system is useful, or whether
it works, and so on, is one of the most valuable
things we have in this country, because it’s a filter,
and it really prevents us from doing a lot of nonsense. And I think that that’s one
of the important lessons out of this thing. I ought to talk about the South
African nuclear test program. That was also interesting. And that also
happened on my watch. I remember we got a call
from somebody in the State Department, and the
guy said, come on over. I want to talk to you. So I went over,
and he had a cable that came in from the Russians,
which essentially said there’s something interesting going on
at the cordon at such-and-such and such-and-such in
the Kalahari Desert. And the guy in the
State Department said, can you do this? And so I said, yeah,
sure, we can do it. We can target that. But why do you want to know? “Well, the Russians think
there’s a nuclear test about to be made there.” And so I said, well, all right. Why did you tell them? Well, what happened
was that we sent him a cable which said, “Nonsense. It isn’t so.” So we’d better find out
whether it is or isn’t. And so we targeted the
satellites on this thing. I’d been in the
nuclear test business when I was in Livermore–
and sure enough, this thing was a
precise facility for an underground nuclear test. There was a hole in the
ground, pad around it, and a few hundred feet away,
there was a block house– just everything you’d have. And I went back to the guy
in the State Department, and I said, you
know, you fellows should have done this before you
told the Russians “nonsense”– this is a nuclear test site. And basically, the reason
the Russians gave us the information was
that they wanted us to put pressure on the
South Africans to stop it. And so the State Department
cabled South Africa and said, knock it off. And then, they called me
back and they said, well, we told them, “Knock it off.” Would you please check and
see whether they actually did? So we continued to target this
thing for the next few weeks. And they pulled that
thing out of the ground. Tout de suite. It was gone in a week. The hole was filled in,
the buildings were blown, and the trucks took
everything away. They never ran a test
on the continent. But they did build weapons. They did learn how to
separate uranium into U-235. And so, again, we
could tell that. Well, I think I’ve
covered all this stuff. Why don’t I quit here? And I’ll be happy to
answer any questions, if that’s appropriate. Try. They can hear you. Here. PROFESSOR: Thank you. Thank you very much, Dr. Mark. That was outstanding. [APPLAUSE] Before pausing for
questions, let me present you with our certificate
of appreciation to fill in whatever
empty spaces there may be on the wall in the Pentagon. And– MARK: I tell you– at my
stage, the only things that I have on my
wall in the Pentagon are pictures of
my grandchildren. OK? PROFESSOR: Sounds
like a good stage. Questions? MARK: Sheila. PROFESSOR: Sheila. AUDIENCE: At what point did
you move from the drop film to the direct? MARK: ’78. AUDIENCE: And that was
part of the Corona program? You did that– MARK: No. AUDIENCE: –in the
Corona program? MARK: No. AUDIENCE: So the Corona was– MARK: Corona was
shut down in ’72. We had several
other film systems that are still classified. And we did the first
real-time in ’78. And again, that was when
I was director of the NRO. And that was a really
interesting thing. Yeah. AUDIENCE: Say something
about the retrieval system– PROFESSOR: Would you
wait for the mic, Walt, and repeat your
question, please. Because we are taping. AUDIENCE: Could
you say something about the retrieval system? I thought you said it once–
that they dropped the couple. MARK: Yeah. They missed the couple. And I think one
of them just sank. And the other one– on some recovery missions,
we had helicopters flying under the recovery airplanes. And so one of them was
picked up by a helicopter– one of the buckets. AUDIENCE: Hans, this
is Jean Colvert. MARK: Where are you? AUDIENCE: Your
supposition is correct– MARK: I can’t see you. AUDIENCE: –except that it
was Brezhnev’s nephew that was running the– [LAUGHTER] MARK: OK. Was it really? AUDIENCE: I just thought
you’d be curious. MARK: You know, my
supposition was a pure guess. And I didn’t know
who ran the program, but I just said that
there’s somebody who runs that program
who has connections. Is that really a fact, Jean? AUDIENCE: That’s a fact. I was told by– MARK: I’ll be god damned. That’s the first time
I’ve heard about it. PROFESSOR: [INAUDIBLE],, who
actually developed the camera. AUDIENCE: Well, I
was involved in it. I have a question about the NRO. But I have to make
a comment before, so that people
understand the question, or you’d have to make it clear. You had mentioned Samos. MARK: Yes. AUDIENCE: Samos was an Air Force
program which, of course, was distinct from Corona. MARK: Right. AUDIENCE: And that
ran during the 1950s, and it was a combined ICBM,
camera, do-everything– MARK: Right. AUDIENCE: –satellite prime. It was going very slowly. And right after the Russian
Sputnik in September of ’57, Eisenhower became concerned
about the speed of it. And his immediate advisors
said we should look at a model of the U-2 program, which the
CIA ran in a very streamlined fashion– and let’s do a fill-in
satellite program. So he started
planning in December of ’57 through the
end of December ’58. All the briefings at high
level were totally verbal. Because of the sensitivity
of the competition, they knew it was going to erupt. They went out for proposals
in January of 1958. The proposals were in. The contractors were selected
by the beginning of April. The program was funded
by the middle of April. Specifications were
begun a month later, and the specifications were
set in concrete in June– a totally ridiculous,
absolutely impossible project. Anyway, the program succeeded,
as you described so eloquently. But after the NRO began in– MARK: 1966. AUDIENCE: –I think there
were 13 unsuccessful launches before the first plane
in August of 1960. Those were the so-called
Discover programs– MARK: That’s right. AUDIENCE: –some of
you may remember. Anyway, after the NRO
got going, the CIA was very angry about it. They wanted to
preserve their turf, because they thought
they’d done a good job. And during the first
five years of the NRO, the infighting was
absolutely fierce. MARK: Oh, I have to tell you– it was fierce when I
was there, and that was 12 years after the– [INTERPOSING VOICES] AUDIENCE: –before and after
that’s just been published. MARK: Oh, yeah. AUDIENCE: The
declassified history of the NRO between
1960 and 1965, which just goes blow by blow. It is absolutely fascinating. MARK: A contingent–
blow by blow. AUDIENCE: But my
question was– what was the NRO like in the 1970s? MARK: Well, it was
the same infighting. AUDIENCE: And was this Air
Force versus Agency, or– MARK: Basically. But look– it was very good. Because again– it’s
interesting that competition in the private
sector is admired. It makes for efficiency. Competition in the public
sector is called duplication. OK? And we have to cut
out duplication. Now, why people in
the public sector are motivated by
different things than people in the private
sector I don’t understand. The fact that we had competition
between different agencies in the NRO, that
participated in the NRO, between the military agencies
and the civil agencies, actually made the agency
as good as it was. There’s no question
about that in my mind. We would not have
had the quality of the people– like
Bud Wheelon, who was a contemporary of mine
here in graduate school in that program. If it weren’t for that
competitive element– there’s no question about it. And competition
leads to problems, and the director had to
adjudicate between some very, very aggressive people. And that led to a few
interesting discussions. Yeah. AUDIENCE: This might be a little
out of the scope of your talk, but could you say anything
about the status of knowledge, 1955 through ’57, concerning
the preparations in Russia? MARK: Prep– AUDIENCE: The state
of their capabilities. MARK: ’55 to– AUDIENCE: ’55 to ’57. MARK: Capabilities in the space? AUDIENCE: In the military sense. MARK: Well, no, I can’t, really. I mean, that’s a
tough question that requires a very long answer. I can’t say much here. AUDIENCE: I was wondering
about the consequences of that first U-2
that was shut down. I know that people
saw it was coming. But still, to see a US airplane
shot down by the Russians– did that have any political
consequences, or– MARK: Well, remember– AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
tension, or– MARK: It was a little
more than that. I mean, it was a
US airplane that we flew secretly, and never
publicly talked about. And it was even more
amusing, because it was flown by NASA undercover. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MARK: What? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. MARK: No. I’m sorry. It was by NASA. OK? NASA was the cover. And the thing that
was interesting is that when NASA was
called up and said, what’s all this about your U-2? They said, what are
you talking about? They didn’t know
they were undercover. But the answer to your question
is that it was a covert flight. And so the Russians,
of course, knew it, because they could see it
with radar and visually. And they finally
developed the rocket that could shoot it down. That was the– yeah. AUDIENCE: Hi. Scott Shannon. I just was wondering what you
would say about the security issues involved with the
availability of high-resolution reconnaissance, now,
to anyone online– and also high-resolution
GPS coordination. MARK: Well, that’s also a
very complicated question. The real issue is targeting–
that is, how do you use a combination of the
things that you talked about to use this as a targeting
device for military operations? And the answer, of course,
is that you can do it. Now, it’s not easy,
so I’m not sure that anybody except
ourselves, right now, have the sustained
capability to do that. But it’s certainly
there in the open, and we have to assume
that a lot of other people are going to learn how to
do this fairly quickly. I mean, we used it in Kosovo,
for sure, as you know. Lee Grodsons. How are you? Good to– AUDIENCE: Hi, and cheers. MARK: If it weren’t for that
light, I would have seen you. AUDIENCE: This is a
technical question. Being a technical
nerd, I have to ask you a technical question. And I’ve been brooding
throughout your talk about this counter-rotating
system of two cameras– MARK: Yes. AUDIENCE: –and how the hell
you do a stereoscopic vision with that. MARK: Oh, you don’t do it with– the stereoscopic– AUDIENCE: I can see the
stereoscopic– the two eyes going back and forth. MARK: Hey, hey. I did not mean to imply that– you don’t use
those two pictures. What you do is–this
thing walks along. OK? AUDIENCE: Oh, I see. As they go– MARK: You just– right. OK. AUDIENCE: Thanks. MARK: You get the
stereoscopic picture from different
revolutions of the thing. Yeah. Maybe he can– AUDIENCE: I would like to
leave one number with you. Some of this photography,
toward the end, had a resolution on the
ground of above 5 feet. You only saw the people
lined up for Lenin’s Tomb because they were in a line. MARK: That’s true. AUDIENCE: You couldn’t
see the individuals. Anyway, some of
this photography, which was on ASA 2–
black-and-white film, very high resolution film. Very, very slow– would stand
up to 40 times magnification. The negative was roughly
3 inches by 29 inches. Blow that up 40 times
and make a print– which no one in his right
mind would have done– you would have had a print 10
feet high and 80 feet long, and it would have been
shot from corner to corner. The combination of this very
slow film and a nice stable platform that isn’t shaking
with an airplane engine. It was just perfect. But that’s a number to remember. And it shows why, in fact,
the [INAUDIBLE] that you had talked about were possible. PROFESSOR: Next to last
question from your classmate. AUDIENCE: Hi, Hans. Louie. MARK: Hi. AUDIENCE: You mentioned that
the Caspian Sea Monster– and we couldn’t produce them– admittedly, we were a
far more open society, and the stakes got
known, and we didn’t have to have people and satellites. But we had the nuclear
airplane, and there was a– MARK: Oh, yes. –facility,
Wright-Patterson, and there were two large radars
built up in North Dakota. And if it weren’t
open, the Russians would have wondered
also what we were doing. [LAUGHTER] But Louie, we never built
a nuclear-powered airplane. They didn’t build the
Caspian Sea Monster. AUDIENCE: Put a
lot of money in it. MARK: We did put a
lot of money in it. General Donald
[INAUDIBLE]—- remember him? He was a major
general, and that was– the argument for the
nuclear-powered airplane, I remember vividly,
was like this– nuclear power is good. It was good for submarines. It must be good for airplanes. [LAUGHTER] That was the whole
justification that went into it. PROFESSOR: Well, those who know
Hans Mark know we could not give a talk without talking
about nuclear something, just as I can’t be a
chairman without asking about man in space. Hans Mark– when
skipping through his bio, I did not mention that Hans
was deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration during the period
under his watch where they got the shuttle
program launched, and the first of the beginning of the
beginning of the beginning of the space mission. The story we were told
in the civilian sector, those of us involved
with the space shuttle, was that the space
shuttle would have been doomed because of overruns,
were it not for the fact that President
Carter was convinced it was necessary for
verification of SALT-II. How does that fit in with
the satellite reconnaissance you told us about? MARK: Look, I was there
precisely at the moment when that decision was made. In fact, I have a picture of the
president in the cabinet room. Frank Press was sitting
next to him on one side. Harold Brown was on the other. I was next to Frank. Bob Frost was next to Harold. And the question was– look, every new
administration that comes in wants to cancel something. You have to show that
the last guys were dumb. And so you need to
cancel something. The issue was– the
shuttle or the B-1? OK. And it fell to us to go in
and persuade the president to keep the shuttle. And it was really a
combination of reasons. One of the reasons,
of course, was that the shuttle
was, in fact, sized to carry the most capable
reconnaissance satellites we had. But I think it went
deeper than that. I remember that Harold– Harold Brown can be
exceedingly eloquent. And Harold was the guy
in that meeting who carried the day for the space
shuttle, because he said, Mr. President, you’ve heard
all the national security requirements and so on,
and I agree with them, and they’re fine. But I also know you could
do that some other way. There are other ways you could
get those things into orbit. “The real reason,” Harold
said, “is that somehow, it is in our destiny and our
genes to put people in space, and to go explore. And this vehicle is the
first thing to do it.” Now, the B-1, he said– also, he
fought for the B-1 when he was secretary of the Air Force– but he said that’s
just not as important. And that was the way that
that decision was made. PROFESSOR: Let me
thank you, once again, and tell the audience that
there are some refreshments in the back of the room. And I hope that Dr. Mark
will stick around with us for a few minutes thereafter. A brief announcement– this
lecture is part of the course “Modern Space Science
and Engineering,” which will continue next week
in its usual room at 3 o’clock. And the public is
always welcome. And you really want to
ask a last question. Oh. Yes. AUDIENCE: I could tell you I’m a
former Russian scientist pretty deeply involved
in all this stuff. Now, I have a full-time job
for the Museum of Science. And if you want,
I could tell you a real story of how
[INAUDIBLE] was shot down. [LAUGHTER] If you want. Because I was– PROFESSOR: Talk
into the microphone. AUDIENCE: This way? PROFESSOR: Yeah. There you go. AUDIENCE: May I– is it chalk? PROFESSOR: Yeah. [LAUGHTER] AUDIENCE: Three
minutes– no more. Because immediately after
it was done, I was there. And it is worth
that piece of chalk. It seemed it’s about
time to know how it was. It is [INAUDIBLE]. It is [INAUDIBLE] airport,
approximately about 40 kilometers in Russian. OK. There it is, here– [INAUDIBLE] station. Because I am former
[INAUDIBLE],, and I was there. And it is a [INAUDIBLE] up here. It is about 700 meters. It is electric power– PROFESSOR: Power plant. AUDIENCE: And power
was here, shut up. And how it happened– shortly. No rockets are down here. A rocket targeted our plane. How’d it happen? Because, well, it was
obvious that at first, our firefighters go out
and commit to go to get it. But it was unreachable. And nobody knows why, but it
was commanded to return back. One did not. Maybe he wants to be a hero. Maybe he didn’t hear something. And the missile targeted him. And it is because
power survived. It is obvious. And all these powers– this is our firefighter. This is rocket. And this is [INAUDIBLE]. [LAUGHTER] I did want to tell it. It’s the first time I told this. I read a lot of
articles about this. They never mention this. I know the reason. PROFESSOR: Spasibo. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE]

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