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Document Creation Date: 
September 22, 2017
Document Release Date: 
October 4, 2017
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Publication Date: 
January 24, 1957
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Approved for Release: 2017/09/08 CO6687229 EO 13526 3.3(b)(1)>25Yrs,-. = EO 1352E0 13526 3.3(b)(1)>25Yrs 24 January 1957 NSC BRIEFING SOVIET EARTH SATELLITE CAPABILITIES I. In April 1955, the U SSR announced the formation of the Permanent Interagency Commission for Interplanetary Communications. There is other evidence indicating the existence of this Commission nt least as early as the fall of 1954. The public announcement vas the first official indication that the USSR was actively en 'aged on problems associated with the launching and orbiting of earth satellite vehicles. TI. The six commission members named are among the leadirT Soviet scientists; their competance in such fields as astrophysics and nuclear research is internationally recognized. One of the first tasks of this commission was stated to be the organization of work for rthe creation of on "automatic" laboratory for scientific research of outer space. This "automatic" laboratory is believed to he an unmanned earth satellite. -TI. Since late 1955, numerous unofficial statements have been attributed to Soviet scientists concerning Soviet intentions to launch satellites during the International reo)hysical Year (1 July 1957 to 31 Jecewther 195). In September 1956, the Soviet ICY Committee announced its intention to participate in the ICY rocket and earth satellite programs. However, no detailed program was submitted 3/1:-1 we still do not have firm information on the numbers of vehicles, their size, and the Soviet launching plans., although we do have some data which indicates that the numbers of vehicles involved in tdk in our program. ogram generally approximates those Approved for Release: 2017/09/08 C06687229 Approved for Release: 2017/09/08 C06687229 SEW IV. The USSR will probably make a ma or effort to be the rirst country to orbit an earth satellite. On the basis of our estimate of Soviet guided missile capabilities, we believe that the USSR possesses the basic technical capabilities, skills, and other resources rechlired to develop, build, and orbit an unmanned satellite vehicle. 7e believe that the USSR has :he capability of orbiting, in early 1957, ,= satellite vehicle which could acquire scientific information and data of limited military value. A satellite vehicle possessing substantial reconnaissance capabilities of military value could 1,robably be orbited in the period 1963-65. Approved for Release: 2017/09/08 C06687229