The MOL was a spacerat...

>> Monday, May 11, 2009

I think this was brought to my attention by Boing Boing, or maybe not: NOVA's hourlong program about the early days of space espionage, "Astrospies".

The Americans had MOL (the "Manned Orbiting Laboratory"), the Russians, Almaz. And then both were trumped--the MOL before it was even launched, apparently--by unmanned spy satellites. As with civilian exploration of the outer planets, so too with the military exploration of our own: a robot could do a man's job better, cheaper and more safely. But in the meantime, a secret space race was underway.

It's a fascinating story, and worth checking out. If you have a slow connection, you can watch the show in chunks or read the transcript PBS courteously provides (this assumes you haven't already seen it on your televisions). Anyway, it's worth a look.

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