Nation: Comrade Camera

When Ronald Kley, a research associate for the Maine State Museum in Augusta, wanted a satellite photograph of the state for a museum exhibit, he naturally got in touch with NASA. No luck there, nor with the Weather Bureau or the Air Force. The angles of orbiting U.S. satellites are such that their cameras distort details north of Chesapeake Bay.

On a whim, Kley then wrote to the Soviet embassy in Washington, which put him in touch with the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Certainly, said the Russians. They offered a good clear satellite shot not just of Maine but of the entire...

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