The
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) describes the Project UPWARD as the
following:


In August 2014, the NRO released declassified Project UPWARD records
from their archives. Project UPWARD was a joint project that began in 1964,
when the NRO and NASA signed an agreement to transfer optical technology from
the NRO to NASA. UPWARD was initiated as a low orbit, high resolution
contingency program, should NASA’s primary effort to certify lunar landing
sites fail.


The primary NASA lunar landing certification effort consisted of a
high orbit camera program called Lunar Orbiter and a landing vehicle program
called Surveyor. Since NASA’s programs were successful in certifying four lunar
landing sites, there were no further requirements for UPWARD. In 1967, NRO and
NASA jointly decided to cancel the project.


The
program was going to fly a modified version of the KH-7 GAMBIT into orbit.


The
KH-7 (Air Force Program 206) was a reconnaissance satellite used by the United
States from July 1963 to June 1967. Like the older Corona system, it acquired
imagery intelligence by taking photographs and returning the undeveloped film
to earth. It achieved a typical ground-resolution of 2 ft (0.61 m) to 3 ft
(0.91 m). Though most of the imagery from the KH-7 satellites was declassified
in 2002, details of the satellite program (and the satellite’s construction)
remained classified until 2011.


The
NRO posted over 1,000 pages on UPWARD to their website, however, many times
agencies only post a portion of what was available. So, in early 2015, I filed
a request for UPWARD documents, and came up with additional records. Both
releases can be downloaded below.


National Reconnaissance Office
(NRO) Declassified Documents on Project UPWARD


 
 Communications
between NASA, and the NRO, along with all documents, reports, etc., regarding
the Lunar Mapping and Survey System, which had the classified codename UPWARD

[72 Pages, 3.1MB]
































































































































#

Document
Title

Date

No. of
Pages

1

  
DOD/CIA/NASA
Agreement on NASA’s Reconnaissance Program

08/28/1963

3

Draft copy
of agreement to be signed by D/NASA and SECDEF

2

  
Manned
Lunar Reconnaissance

10/1/1963

2

Memorandum
for the Record about a 30 September 1963 meeting held at the Pentagon
regarding the implementation of the NASA-DOD-agreement on reconnaissance
system development.

3

  
Support
of the NASA Lunar Program

3/24/1964

18

Letter from
Brockway McMillan to Dr. Robert Seamans Jr. regarding the initial steps taken
to support the NASA Lunar Program. Also includes changes to the agreement and
security instructions for NASA.

4

  
DOD/NASA
Agreement on the NASA Manned Lunar Mapping and Survery Program

4/20/1964

1

Agreement
formalizing the arrangments between NASA and DOD with respect to lunar
mapping and survey operations. Signed by Brockway McMillan and Robert
Seamans.

5

  
NASA’s
Reconnaissance Activities

04/23/1965

4

Internal
memorandum and draft related to percieved NASA infringement of DOD functions
and security of the NRP’s satellite reconnaissance programs.

6

  
Letter
to the Secretary of Defense

05/19/1965

1

James Webb
to Robert McNamara informing him of continued consideration of the mechanics
of the agreements from April.

7

  
Chronology

08/13/1965

6

An untitled
chronology of NASA efforts 1963-1965

8

  
DOD
Concern with NASA Remote Sensing Activities

04/11/1966

9

A
memorandum for the Manned Spaceflight Policy Committee regarding criteria and
organizational mechanisms for identifying NASA activities of concern to the
DOD.

9

  
LM&SS
Program

12/9/1966

2

Talking
Points for DNRO regarding certain statuses requried for LM&SS missions
and clarifications on viability of components under long term storage
conditions.

10

  
Cable:
Information Policy regarding LM&SS System Development

01/27/1967

7

Background
on the LM&SS effort and information policy stance. Cable also includes
answers to potential queries.

11

  
NASA
Plans regarding UPWARD

2/3/1967

5

Briefing
background for the Manned Space Flight Policy Committee (MSFPC) meeting on 9
Feb 1967. Discusses changes in schedule for the first launch and high-level
desciptions of the various missions.

12

  
NASA’s
Use of UPWARD Cameras in Earth Orbit: Memos from Donald Hornig (White House)
to DNRO and D/NASA

2/9/1967

2

Donald
Hornig to DNRO and D/NASA brings up the issue of classification for the
imagery taken by UPWARD in the context of the 1968 program descriptions to
Congress.

13

  
NASA’s
Use of UPWARD Cameras in Earth Orbit: Memo from Acting DCI to DNRO

2/13/1967

1

Acting
Director of Central Inteligence request to review procedures in place to
protect the imagery taken by UPWARD in appropriate classified channels.

14

  
NASA
Use of the UPWARD Cameras in Earth Orbit

2/15/1967

3

DNRO to
Deputy Secretary of Defense regarding steps being taken to protect the GAMBIT
camera in light of NASA’s extended use UPWARD after 1967.

15

  
NASA’s
Use of UPWARD Cameras in Earth Orbit: Memo from DNRO Flax to Dr. Hornig

2/15/1967

2

DNRO Flax
responds to Dr. Donald Hornig’s (White House) 9 February memo indicating the
creation of a working group to look into his concerns.

16

  
NASA’s
Use of UPWARD Cameras in Earth Orbit

2/17/1967

1

DNRO Flax
responds to Acting DCI’s 13 February memo indicating the creation of a
working group to look into his concerns.

17

  
Procedures
for Handling LM&SS Photography and Related Public Information

2/23/1967

2

Dr.
Seamans’ response to Dr. Hornig’s letter of 9 February regarding the
procedures for handling LM&SS photography.

18

  
Alternative
Operational/Information Plans for an Earth-Orbiting Test of the UPWARD Camera

2/24/1967

1

MISSING
STAMP – Memo to DNRO Flax regarding status of operational plans for handling
of the information from Earth orbit test flights of UPWARD.

19

  
Memo
for Dr. Flax re Reservations on Use of Camera

3/11/1967

1

MISSING
STAMP – Memo to DNRO Flax regarding Dr. Vance’s reservations against the use
of GAMBIT camera in the Apollo Applications Program.

20

  
Minutes
of the February 9 MSFPC Meeting Part 1

3/16/1967

1

Memo For
Dr. Foster, Dr. Flax, Mr. Fink from William Yost re: Following up on the
Minutes from 9 Feb MSFPC meeting

21

  
Minutes
of the February 9 MSFPC Meeting Part 2

3/16/1967

1

Memo For
Dr. Seamans, Dr. Mueller, Dr. Newell, Mr. Sweet from William Yost re:
Following up on the Minutes from 9 Feb MSFPC meeting

22

  
Memo
for the ExCom: Astronomical Observations from Space

3/17/1967

5

Memo to the
ExCom to summarize the present status of discussions between the MOL office
and NASA regarding use of the DORIAN optics and the general security concerns
for a NASA program of astronomy from space.

23

  
Alternative
Operational/Information Plans for an Earth-Orbiting Test of the UPWARD Camera

3/17/1967

3

Memo for
Dr. Flax from Paul E. Worthman re Alternative Operational/Information Plans
for an Earth-Orbiting Test of the UPWARD Camera

24

  
Conference
with CIA on NASA matters

3/20/1967

2

Memo for
Dr. Flax from Paul E. Worthman re: Conference with Mr. Sheldon on NASA
matters including concerns associated with the use of the UPWARD camera.

25

  
Memorandum
for Gen. Stewart on MOL/UPWARD

3/28/1967

1

Memorandum
for General Stewart, SAFSL regarding security concerns for MOL for
astronomical purposes based on the UPWARD experiences. Dr. Flax is preparing
comments on MOL/NASA for discussion at the next ExCom meeting.

26

  
Manned
Space Flight Polic Committee (Agenda Item: Earth Orbit Test of LM&SS)

3/31/1967

1

NRO
internal memo to General Stewart regarding NOT to release LM&SS Earth
Orbit Planning documentation to NASA until committee policy review is
completed.

27

  
LM&SS
Earth Orbit Test Objectives (preliminary)

3/31/1967

10

Document
defines the Earth orbit test objectivess for the payload module of the Lunar
Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS).

28

  
DCI
to DNRO on use of the GAMBIT camera by NASA

4/5/1967

1

Memorandum
from Director CIA (Helms) to Dircetor NRO (Flax) regarding delaying
endorsement of the proposed NASA use of the Gambit camera pending ExCom
consideration.

29

  
Comparison
of Lunar Orbiter and LM&SS

4/11/1967

8

NASA
Document – Comparison of the Lunar Orbiter and Lunar Mapping and Survey
System (LM&SS). NASA re-examined the need for the continuing development
of the LM&SS and makes a comparison of the baseline and augmented
versions of the Lunar Orbiter and the LM&SS.

30

  
Lunar
Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS)

4/19/1967

2

NASA
Document – Memorandum raises concerns on the direction of the Lunar Mapping
and Survey System (LM&SS) and the role of the LM&SS in the NASA
program.

31

  
Release
of UPWARD Earth-Orbit Information to Dr. Steininger

4/21/1967

2

Memorandum
for Dr. Flax from Paul E. Worthman regarding the advisability to release of
UPWARD Earth-Orbit Information to Dr. Steininger prior to ExCom meeting.

32

  
Cable:
Support to NASA

04/25/1967

1

Cable
requesting USAF provide a plan for exploitation of NASA MSS Systems used in
the Lunar environment and recommendations for a Lunar Mapping System to
provide MC&G support for proposed Lunar surface exploratin programs.

33

  
NASA
Lunar Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS)

04/28/1967

4

Memoranum
DNRO to Mr. Vance, Mr. Helms, Dr. Hornig and extension/continuation of the
Lunar Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS)/UPWARD past 1967.

34

  
Meeting
to Formulate Action Plan for Making AAP Decisions

5/31/1967

2

NASA
Document re meeting to identify and clarify the specific program details and
requirements that need to be resolved to formulate an action plan for the AAP
program decisions.

35

  
Difficulties
in Proceeding with the UPWARD Program

6/1/1967

1

Memorandum
for Dr. Hornig to Mr. Helms and Mr. Vance re difficulties in proceeding with
the UPWARD program.

36

  
June
1, 1967 Meeting to Discuss AAP Payloads

6/9/1967

3

NASA
Document re June 1, 1967 meeting to formulate action plan for making AAP
decisions.

37

  
Lunar
Mapping and Survey System

6/19/1967

6

NASA
Document re the accomplishments of the basic Lunar Orbiter project and the
cancellation of the Lunar Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS).

38

  
LM&SS
Earth Orbit Test Objectives

6/23/1967

1

Memorandum
from Gen Martin to DNRO Flax re providing a preliminary copy of the LM&SS
Earth Orbit Test Objectives to NASA pending LM&SS E.O. approval.

39

  
Lunar
Mapping and Survey System Part 1

7/5/1967

5

NASA
Document re Lunar Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS) review based on
requirements and budget factors.

40

  
Lunar
Mapping and Survey System Part 2

7/13/1967

2

NASA
Document from AD/Deputy Seamans to Associate Administrator for Manned Space
Flight re Lunar Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS). Based on the
requirements considered in the review, Dr. Seamans concluded NASA was not
justified in continuing the LM&SS in the NASA program. He also requested
a rapid study to examine a justification for continuing the LM&SS on the
basis of a requirement for high resolution photography from lunar orbit to
determine the status of equipment used in a lunar landing mission.

41

  
Lunar
Mapping and Survey System Part 3

7/18/1967

4

NASA
Document – Memorandum from Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight to
AD/Deputy Administrator Office of the Administrator re Lunar Mapping and
Survey System (LM&SS) memo dated July 13, 1967 regarding resolution
requirements.

42

  
Termination
of the Lunar Mapping and Survey System

7/25/1967

2

NASA
Document – Memorandum Mr. Seamans to Dr. Mueller re termination of the Lunar
Mapping and Survey System (LM&SS). Based on the review of the LM&SS
requirements, Mr. Mueller concluded that there are no requirements sufficient
to warrant continuation of the development effort.

43

  
Termination
Plan for the Lunar Mapping & Survey System

8/21/1967

25

NASA
Document – Memorandum Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight to
Deputy Administrator re the termination plans for the Lunar Mapping and
Survey System (LM&SS).

44

  
NASA
Lunar Mapping and Survey System

8/22/1967

2

Memorandrum
DNRO Flax to Mr. Nitze, Mr. Helms, Dr. Hornig re NASA Lunar Mapping and
Survey System (LM&SS). After review, NASA has now taken action to
terminate the program.

45

  
Storage
and Disposition of LM&SS Hardware

9/18/1967

2

Cable re
the storage and disposition of the Lunar Mapping and Survey System
(LM&SS). This process will be conducted in such a manner to minimise cost
but also protect the NRO security requirements.

46

  
NASA
to DNRO on Termination of LM&SS

10/12/1967

5

Memorandum
Dr. Seamans to Mr. Flax regarding termination of the Lunar Mapping and Survey
System (LM&SS)/UPWARD. Mr. Seamans concluded that it would not be prudent
for NASA to retain the classified hardware, with the one exception of the
three Itek (-9) mapping cameras.

47

  
DNRO
to NASA on Termination of LM&SS

12/1/1967

2

Memorandum
DNRO Flax to Dr. Seamans re termination of the Lunar Mapping and Survey
System (LM&SS). DNRO Flax also advised on the approval for NASA retention
of the Itek (-9) mapping cameras with appropriate security precautions.

48

  
Disposition
of ITEK (-9) Mapping Cameras

1/2/1968

1

NASA
Memomrandum Dr. Seamans to Dr. Flax thanking him for the action to decontrol
the Itek (-9) mapping cameras and advised that NASA can utilize this hardware
within the contraints outline. He also advised of the debriefing process of
NASA personnel holding the UPWARD clearance.

49

  
Project
UPWARD

1/8/1968

1

Memorandum via
NRO Staff to Dr. Flax re NASA appreciation for decontrolling the Itek (-9)
mapping camera.

50

  
“Terms
of Reference” (TOR) for the Release of ITEK (-9) Mapping Cameras to NASA

3/6/1968

5

NRO
internal memo for signature to allow the release of terms of reference for
the Itek (-9) mapping camera to NASA

51

  
TOR
Covering NASA’s Use of ITEK (-9) Mapping Camera

3/7/1968

4

Memorandum
NRO Staff Director Berg to Dr. Newell/NASA re Terms of Reference which will
allow NASA to use the Itek (-9) mapping cameras.

52

  
Dod
Policy on NASA’s On-Orbit Astronomical Experiments

8/30/1968

7

Memo to
DNRO on offical DOD security attitudes toward NASA’s on-orbit astronomy
program.

53

  
NASA
Query re: Fairchild Briefing on SI Camera

5/1/1969

3

Memorandum
for the Record re NASA query for Fairchield briefing on the SI camera. Memo
addresses security concerns of Fairchild briefing NASA personel on the SI
camera and the approval of reinstatement of UPWARD clearances for two NASA
employees to allow discussions with Fairchild.

54

  
UPWARD
Security

1/12/1970

1

Memorandum
from NRO Staff to BCO, NASA advising NRO’s plans to close the UPWARD
compartmentation effective March 1, 1970. Residual material would be handled
under the GAMBIT compartmentation.

55

  
Trip
Coordination

5/4/1970

2

NASA
request for concurrence of NASA personnel to travel to SAFSP facilities for
deliberations regarding dispositionof residual LM&SS materials.

56

  
UPWARD
Mapping and Survey System

11/9/1970

2

Internal
Deliberations providing Dr. Naka background information on the UPWARD
development.

57

  
Disposition
of ITEK (-9) Mapping Cameras

6/29/1972

1

NASA
memorandum to Lt. Colonel Hofmann, USAF SACC member advising the disposition
of the Itek (-9) mapping cameras. The cameras have been declared surplus at
Manned Space Center, Houston, Tx and are available at Surplus Sales at MSC.
No documentation associating NRO programs is with the cameras.

58

  
Project
UPWARD: The NRO and NASA

2/27/1976

107

Chapter of
NRO history pertaining to the UPWARD program.

59

  
Alternative
Operational/Information Plans for an Earth-Orbiting Test of the UPWARD Camera

no date

9

Study of
alternatives to cover status of LM&SS as per action item in 4th meeting
of the MSFPC

60

  
Termination
of LM&SS

no date

4

A paper
sent internally at NASA regarding the termination of the Lunar Mapping and
Survey System (LM&SS).

61

  
Preliminary
Engineering Description of the Survey Camera for the Apollo Mapping and
Survey System, Volume 1

no date

374

Preliminary
Engineering Description of the Survey Camera for the Apollo Mapping and
Survey System, Volume 1. The engineering study prepared under contract by
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY for Headquarters Space System Divison
(SAFSP)

62

  
Preliminary
Engineering Description of the Survey Camera for the Apollo Mapping and
Survey System, Volume 2

no date

520

Preliminary
Engineering Description of the Survey Camera for the Apollo Mapping and
Survey System, Volume 2. The engineering study prepared under contract by
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY for Headquarters Space System Divison
(SAFSP)