And not a burned spy. The American mole — directly in the space program

Part of the Chapter from the book “the Secret race for the moon” which will be released in may 2017.


The American CIA has still not revealed who was his spy right in star city, where he developed the Soviet space program. It was probably someone who held a high position, since he gave accurate information. Soon, apparently, the truth we’ll never know.

The American intelligence service CIA wanted to spy on the Soviet space program from the beginning. The KGB, in turn, was interested in the lunar project Apollo. Moscow and Washington believed the landing of the first man on the moon is a matter of prestige, the achievement of which they will brag to the rest of the world as proof of the perfection of its political system.

The first satellite and the first attempt of espionage

The first earth satellite “Sputnik 1” which did nothing except send a signal about its existence, the Soviet Union launched the fourth of October 1957. The White house is no surprise. In December 1955, the Central intelligence Agency (Central Intelligence Agency — CIA) predicted that the USSR would be able to launch a satellite during 1958.

Picture of the Soviet space developments made by specialists of the National center transcripts photographs (National Photographic Interpretation Center) in the headquarters of the CIA. Professionals were based on photographs taken from spy planes and then by satellites, and also on the listening materials provided by the national security Agency (National Security Agency — NSA). Addition he served the reports of agents from the scene, as well as information from friendly intelligence services, especially from the British “MI-6/SIS”.

The Americans underestimated the role of Intercontinental missiles. In early 1957, their importance been underestimated and the role of strategic bombers, which was available to US, on the contrary, revalued. However, in a secret message to the President of 18 August stated that the Soviet Union carried out the first tests of these long-range missiles. The Agency TASS acknowledged it after a few days. And in a Memorandum dated the tenth of December the specialists of the CIA came to the conclusion that the development of these missiles “are for the USSR special priority.”

In August 1958, the CIA assumed that very soon the Tips will go into space: approximately 1960 sent the first cosmonaut and automatic spacecraft to the moon, circling the moon will be made in 1962, and three years later there may be effected a landing. The Americans were afraid that in 1959 the Kremlin will complete placement of more than one hundred Intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, because the United States, they were few, the gap in this area was evident. Only when in the early 60-ies due to reconnaissance satellites were examined Soviet territory, it turned out that was all a myth.

The USSR landed a man on the moon in 1967 — 1968. This was the forecast Intelligence reports of the CIA (National Intelligence Estimate), presented to President Kennedy, the fifth of December 1962. However, reliable sources to support these allegations, the scouts were not.

Hearing and reconnaissance satellite

In the 50 years of the United States focused on the creation of technical means of intelligence. The reason is clear: among Soviet citizens was difficult to find people for spying.

The United States began with the construction of radar stations and listening close to the Soviet borders, especially in Turkey and Iran. Their professionals have learned to read reports of electronic signals and on their basis to predict missile launch and their characteristics, as well as preparations for a nuclear test.

United States sent reconnaissance aircraft RB-45 Tornado and the U-2 flights over Soviet and Chinese territory since the early 50-ies. The planes flew at high altitudes inaccessible to ordinary fighters.

Baikonur cosmodrome — Tyuratam the Americans were in control from the beginning. In the spring of 1957 one pilot spy plane U-2 was observed while flying over Turkmenistan’s something interesting in that region of Kazakhstan. The pilot changed the planned route to look at. In this place the Russians have been testing a new military missiles and has built a large number of ground objects.

© RIA Novosti, Alexei Filippov | go to fotobanka Baikonur

As soon as the CIA established location of the base, began to send reconnaissance aircraft. When experts got pictures with them, was terrified. Tips again we are trying to spend! The town of Baikonur is about 200 miles North of Assembly buildings and launch pads. Most often they are located near (about 30 miles) to the old Kazakh town of Tyuratam. So this spaceport went down in history as the Baikonur — Tyuratam: the first name was used in the East and the second among experts and military in the West. Officially it was called the Scientific research test range number five (5 NIIP), which was administered by the Ministry of defence. The vast steppes of Kazakhstan were hiding and even base of Intercontinental missiles with atomic warheads which were aimed at the United States.

However, the first of may 1960, the Soviet Union has been using anti-aircraft system s-75 “Dvina” to shoot down U-2 and its pilot Francis George. Powers was captured. The Americans stopped sending these aircraft to fly over the USSR, and in 1966 they were replaced by more advanced aircraft SR-71 Blackbird. For two decades, over Soviet territory or near the flights were made ten to twenty thousand U-2, RB-45 and B-47, equipped with electronics. A minimum of 31 aircraft was shot down, and most of the crew members are arrested or have gone missing.

In the early 60-ies of all the work took on reconnaissance satellites. The Americans are far ahead of the USSR in the field of microelectronics and photographic equipment. Direct space reconnaissance under the code name Discoverer 1, the U.S. launched February 28, 1959. But the equipment didn’t work, and no data could be obtained.

With technical problems the Americans faced later. On August 11, 1960, they managed to get the first capsule from the satellite “Discoverer 13”. It was the first object that returned intact from space. However, instead of “FotoTravel” he delivered the American flag: its the with President Eisenhower was to be marked by a large space, the success of the United States.

Only the following “Discoverer 14”, launched 18 August, took the pictures of Soviet territory. But the Americans still wasn’t a perfect display and retransmission techniques to take the radio from orbit photos of good quality. Why we developed a system for sending a capsule with the films from the satellites. Capsule parachuting down to Earth, it caught the plane network on the fly, or caught the ship out of the sea.

Since the summer of 1960 the American satellites filmed the territory of Communist countries, primarily the USSR and China. Other equipment would intercept all the radio signals. The technique gave the Americans a complete view of the status of the strategic forces of the enemy, and also on space flights. However, this information must be supported and clarified by other sources, primarily undercover.

Scorpio — alarm at Baikonur

In November 1962 the close cooperation of NASA and the CIA has established a Deputy Director of the space Agency Hugh Dryden. He gave scouts a list of different signs that showed progress in the aerospace field. “Everyone is convinced that if the Soviet Union competes against the American program of landing on the moon, their flight tests, which are closely related with this aspiration must begin within one year or two years”, — stated in the report of NASA. The space Agency was interested in how far the Russians have advanced in the construction of powerful missiles, and what the level of their equipment, primarily electronics and control systems.

“However, in the early 60-ies of the CIA had limited information about the Soviet space program, wrote the historians Duane A. day and Asif Siddiqui in 2003 in the journal Spaceflight. — Most of the reports were based on two main sources: photographs of space, taken by satellites, and telemetry signals of missile intercepted by ground stations”. According to David Doyle, who studied the Soviet missiles, the CIA, the USSR was not a permanent agent.

Intelligence reports of the CIA, describing the Soviet missile and space program and dated between October 31, 1946 to the eighth of August 1991, became known after the declassification, and was published on the Internet. Most of these 45 reports were based on data from technical intelligence: remote listening and satellite images. Their accuracy differed: there were incorrect, and very accurate information. But there were no surprises. However, in practice, spy is normal.

However, satellites are minuses. They rounded the Earth in identical orbits, so the enemy could easily calculate when a photo or “talespin” will be overhead, and time to hide important things. However, to hide preparations for a major testing of missiles and space launch made no sense. Still, when the defense radars found that approaching an American spy satellite, a military commander of the missile base Baikonur declared an emergency under the code name “Scorpion 3”. The arrival of the reconnaissance aircraft was called “Scorpion 2”.

“Scorpion 1” meant that the train on the route Moscow — Tashkent, which was passing through the local train station, sits a foreigner. However, this occurred infrequently, so the chances to declassified was minimal. Jokers at the spaceport knew that this and “Scorpio 4”: “installation In hangar or on the flight pad is Queens.”

In addition, the Americans followed the activities at the rocket bases using special radio equipment installed on the territory of countries bordering the Soviet Union. A worldwide network of radars and telescopes helped to keep track of all the Soviet satellites since their launch and throughout their flight until return or destruction.

Both States have concealed these activities and for a long time claimed not engaged in anything similar. But such a lie is a usual thing in espionage.

Gagarin: Moscow radio in an hour after the Americans

“We have information which suggests that the night the Russians are going to send a man into space,” he said on Tuesday, 11 April 1961, CIA Director Allen Welsh DULLES to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The President waved his hand: “don’t Wake me”.

Tracking the flight has become a unique success system of aerospace defense of the American continent NORAD. American radar in Turkey registered in 1.07 Eastern time USA launch R-7 rocket known source of the Pentagon as the SS-6 base Turtle in Kazakhstan. After 13 minutes of the station of radio espionage Chemie, situated on two tiny Islands of the archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, intercepted a Russian speech from space: the first man was sent into orbit. Five minutes after that, Washington went encrypted message.

The duty General in the Pentagon handed over to 1.30 over the phone this information to the scientific Advisor of the White house Jerome Winery. The Professor called presidential spokesman Pierre Salinger. Since the start of Gagarin’s flight on “Vostok-1” was 23 minutes.

But the rest of the world is nothing knew. Moscow radio gave the news only at 10.08 local time, i.e. an hour after the Americans found out about it.

The astronauts — the advantage of running companions

Original Soviet generals human flight into space was not interested, after all this insane fantasy! But in the end, the chief designer of long-range missiles Sergey Kings drew them to his side, promising a great companion, which will be equipped with photographic equipment for space espionage. This task (under the code name “Zenith”) before the chief designer of rockets and satellites has put the Military-industrial Commission at the end of 1957. The Americans were right in saying that he who controls space controls the Earth.

Only when, in April 1959, NASA introduced the seven candidates for space travel, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered the Queen to do the flight people. “We must again ahead of the Americans!”

The development of a machine for human flight was in its early stages, and work on “Zenith” has moved forward significantly. Khrushchev decided: “the First is a spacecraft, and photographs for military wait!”

Does not remain anything else how again to improvise. The chief designer of rockets and satellites could work based on the future. “Lander “Zenith” we can use a for astronaut”.

Soviet engineers completed the first spy satellite Zenit in mid-1961. It was equipped with four cameras, pictures which from the heights of space supposedly could make out individual cars in Parking lots. Shortly before the end of the year companion tried to run, but refused the third stage of the rocket. Only next time, April 29, 1962, the satellite failed to orbit. To the public he became known as “Space-4”. But the electronic equipment of the Soviet satellites behind the us. In the past the reason for that was Stalin, who condemned the “Cybernetics as a bourgeois pseudoscience”.

Gradually Soviet specialists have developed the launch of their reconnaissance satellites, which was returning after eight days on the Ground with his photographs. Subsequently, the satellites remained in orbit longer. As noted Soviet journalist Leonid Leskov, the United States succeeded with the help of satellites to get an overview of all strategic objects on the territory of the USSR very soon. “We managed to obtain footage of American territory later and much worse quality.”

The race for landing on the moon started

The Soviet Union will be able to send people to fly around the moon in 1966. This was discussed in the forecast in the CIA from the fifth of November, 1961. In three years there will be able to land the first men. “This is all that can be predicted on the basis of the latest data.”

Thus, the success of the first Soviet cosmonauts blinded even the rational-minded intelligence analysts and many Western scientists. By the way, this was greatly helped by the propaganda of the Kremlin.

In may 1961, President John Kennedy announced that American astronauts should land on the moon and safely back home before the end of the decade.

Probably Soviet specialists took the challenge to race for the moon. This is evidenced by an article by the famous Professor K. Sergeev on October 14, 1961 in the main Communist newspaper “Pravda”: “the Mastery of outer space around Earth will become a reliable basis for further development of long space flights. At first it will be the automatic stations flights to the moon and landing on its surface. Then the man circled the moon and land on its surface. When the moon will be the establishment of a permanent research station, and later the industrial base, you can use untouched and undeveloped resources of our nearest heavenly body in scientific and economic purposes.”

The caption under the title, the focus of the article and publication of the main Soviet print body gave grounds to assume that the author was a specialist. The CIA soon found that this alias uses the alleged leader of the Soviet missile and space developments of academician Sergei Korolev, one of the few scientists who took part in the last two congresses of the Communist party of the Soviet Union.

© RIA Novosti, Sergeev | go to photomangagement Sergei Korolev and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin

In the information brochure of the Academy of Sciences in 1958 is his home address and phone, and work phone. Send correspondence to his place of work was offered at po box 651. Next year the data about the academician has been reduced to some reports about his work. And in the brochure for 1960 was written that the Queen can be found in the Department of technical Sciences. “These were a gift for foreign intelligence — written by Yaroslav Golovanov in the biography of the Queen, — since, on the basis of who had no home address, was it possible to understand who the members of the Academy of Sciences is working on military orders”. You still need to add that the company performing these orders, was under the mailbox.

On the last day of 1961, “Professor K. Sergeev” confirmed in the “Truth” that the Moon will be first in the queue. So the race to the moon was launched.

His opinion was indirectly confirmed by Yuri Gagarin. At the international Congress of cosmonauts, held in Athens in the fall of 1963, Gagarin said: “Our specialists develop the technique for landing on the moon: build a ship and create a system of refueling in earth orbit”.

What will be the task of the Soviet superrally?

In the summer of 1962, American reconnaissance satellites detected the construction of a new carotovora complex at Baikonur. Analysts called him “J”. For the first time had reason to assume that the USSR is preparing to launch superrace: in this case, N-1.

Subsequently, the photographs, the Americans determined that the installation housing, which were built there, has dimensions of 240 for 190 meters and a height of 60 meters and, of course, is intended for superrally. The existence of a new media indirectly confirmed the picture was visible: the highest crane on the launch pad reaches 145 meters in height.

In 1963 the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, a suburb of Washington about the dispute about whether there was a Russian project to land a man on the moon. Information received by intelligence services, did not give a clear idea about it.

“They’re not going to do that,” asserted Sayre Stevens, chief analyst of the group of 15 specialists of Department of scientific intelligence of the CIA (Space Division, Office of Scientific Intelligence), in its report. Stevens came from last year’s flight “Vostok-3” and “Vostok-4”, which was a demonstration launch of two ships, but no more. Russian docking system, which they are required to master for such a task.

Physicist albert bad Wilon, recently appointed Deputy Director of NASA’s science, by contrast, rejected the view of Stevens. At the end of October his subordinate in a dispute with Wilona defended the Director of the office of scientific intelligence ray Cline. But all in vain: Wilon from his position anyway.

But in the following year, Stevens continued to maintain its position. He again prepared an analysis, which argued that information about the Soviet lunar project no. Construction superrace, as evidenced by imagery intelligence, not proof. Rather, the Soviet Union had planned a large orbital station, which Russian experts sometimes mention.

Intelligence officers speculated that news of the Soviet moon program from the CIA requires, the General Director of NASA, James Webb. With this argument, he would have to defend the project “Apollo” with the authorities: “Look, we compete with the Russians!”

“I have no information about the Soviet piloted lunar program,” — said and Sherman Kent, head of the Intelligence reports CIA report dated April 25, 1963 ten pages.

“Our prediction about Soviet plans from December 1962 was incorrect. Many of their rockets and satellites crashed” — so in January 1965, the scouts tried to calm President Lyndon Johnson. And pointed out: “In 1967 — 1968, the Soviet Union could launch first space station and to send people to fly around the moon. Work on their lunar superalloy is delayed, and the first test flight is expected in 1968. If everything goes without problems, then the Russians may land on the moon in 1969”.

In may 1965, intelligence analysts sent to the White house even more soothing information: the Soviet lunar project, apparently, will not compete with our “Apollo”.

$ Is a special spy from specialists

Probably, in 1967, Soviet intelligence began to obtain secret information about the transatlantic rocketry and Astronautics. KGB received this information from the journalist Guido of Kinda. The Belgian eventually became his own man in the centers of NASA and American universities and government laboratories, having achieved the position of chief journalist specializing in aviation and aerospace. Kind, has created a network of several of his friends who supplied him with secret scientific and technical information of strategic importance not only from the United States and other NATO countries.

Western counter-intelligence has exposed a spy in may 1992. And although it was not announced what kind of damage he inflicted to the United States, a period when he began his espionage career, suggests that Kindto to send to Moscow the unique data, including about the project “Apollo”. Interestingly, Kindt was not convicted, and, apparently, has agreed with the American or the Belgian intelligence service to cooperate.

Western intelligence agencies had to rely on agents in the state and military apparatus who had access to the documents on missile and space projects, or informed of fugitives, and also in reconnaissance aircraft and satellites.

A few officers of the Soviet army and intelligence services, the KGB worked on the West until it was solved. Probably the most important were the two “moles” from the military intelligence service GRU: Penkovsky Oleg and Dmitry Polyakov. Colonel Penkovsky was uncovered and executed in 1963, and the General Polyakov was exposed 15 years later. Until then, he has provided unique information. However, their reports were largely political, military and scientific-technical problems, not space. This theme was secondary. Washington had or have informants among senior party workers and officials, whose names we still unknown.

In the environment of a high-ranking Soviet missile specialists from the CIA agent was called $ (Doll) or Delta (Delta). In 2009, American historians have found documents about him in the archive Library. President Johnson in Austin Texas. There were a total of five secret intelligence documents about the space program. Two were dated 1966 and contained details about the canceled flight, “Voskhod 3”, dated 1967 year. In these it was said on the flight “Soyuz-1”, during which killed cosmonaut Komarov, and the state of Soviet cosmonautics in the first decade. The last report from April 1968 concerned the Soviet plan to land a man on the moon.

For Western intelligence agencies, it was almost impossible to obtain secret information from people living in the territory of the USSR. Any foreigner, whether he is a diplomat, a businessman or a tourist, was noticeably different from the locals: clothes, gait, gestures. Meeting a foreigner with Russian, Georgian, Lithuanian, or other local citizens have always attracted the attention of the others. Therefore, the report about the existence of agent called $ or Delta, which was one of the major rocket designers, was a big surprise.

Space historian Peter Pesavento describes the informant in the journal of the BIS as a man who was one of the senior members of the main design bureaus, OKB-1, as well as the Council of chief designers. Pesavento even suggested that this man could be a Deputy of one of the main designers.

From this it follows, according to Pesavento, “American intelligence was indeed your agent inside the former USSR during the space race for the moon, and that he held a high position”. Despite the fact that declassified report concerns only a few events, most probably the agent will provide information about other things. However these messages are still in the vaults outside of Austin, most likely in the headquarters of the CIA. Why these five messages came to President Lyndon Johnson, is unclear. The questions remain: how long has the agent worked, and what information was transferred.

The CIA hides the real name of the agent$, and we hardly know him, including his relatives. Also do not expect that us intelligence will explain how the agent got in touch with American intelligence officers, who worked in the Embassy under diplomatic cover, and how to communicate with them. The KGB closely watched all the Western diplomats. From this surveillance it was very hard to leave, but it still could.

American intelligence had to come up with some way not to endanger this unique source of information. Where did he come from? We can only speculate. For example, during informal interviews some American with Soviet specialists, who went abroad, there was one — one who had a serious claim to the Communist regime. Then agreed with him. This could be done only at the moment when he remained alone. Often meetings took place in the toilet, where other Soviet citizens under some pretext to enter is prohibited. Travel professionals not working on a secret project, which include space travel. However, in the presence of colleagues who were involved in this, they were friends and acquaintances of the secret institutions: among them could have recruited agents.

Rocket designer $ clearly belonged to those people who sometimes showed their dissatisfaction with the policy of the Kremlin. The Soviet recruiter, attracted by, for example, in the toilet (where easier), there were two options. Either he will remain interested in the subject of friendly relations, and during conversations angling information. Or after “probing the ground”, being sure that he will not give the recruiter offered to cooperate, and then acted as a liaison between the USD and the Americans. The person who allowed international contacts, it was easier to convey the information: at the reception or with the supposedly random meetings and during business trips.

No, this recruiter is connected or $ clearly has not received from the CIA no reward, in fact, throwing money, they would be issued. It was the agents for ideological reasons, opponents of the regime, which could not openly declare their position. Spies of this kind in Communist countries, Western intelligence agencies were dozens, even hundreds, especially in 70 — 80th years.

In addition, the American Embassy in Moscow, he worked as a diplomat who had a deep understanding about the Soviet space developments. His reports were unique, and he often described the individual key events. However, sitting in the Embassy, he would not have received all this information. So he clearly had one or several dedicated to the problem of informants among Soviet specialists.

The KGB tried to follow all contacts of its citizens with foreigners. So again the question arises, how are these connections managed to keep secret.

Western diplomats were active in social life: they met with high-ranking Soviet functionaries at events, in the theatre, in formal and informal negotiations. And there are some Soviet citizens would sometimes slip, sometimes to emphasize their position, and sometimes it was a deliberate misinformation. In addition, foreigners gathered information during various events in which he participated.

The economic Advisor of the Embassy of the United States Abraham Katz sent a telegram to Washington on the speech of the cosmonaut Alexei Leonov at the Exhibition of achievements of national economy in Moscow, when the third in March 1966 there was established the layout of the automatic station “Luna-9”. Leonov said that the Soviet Union wants to send a man to the moon. Also a film was shown which illustrated the plans. In July, being in Tokyo, cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov confirmed that the Soviet Union wants to be the first to land a man on the moon.


The end of the first part. In the sequel, we learn how the CIA watched from satellites, Baikonur.