posted on Jul, 16 2012 @ 03:37 PM
The PBS special on the Manned Orbiting Lab (MOL) came out in 2007. James Bamford the investigative journalist wrote and produced the television
piece. Bamford implies in the PBS special that up until these strange spacesuits were found that no one in the public knew anything about MOL and its
planned reconnaissance missions. It had remained a secret. Then his show which begins with Bamford saying he tracked down astronaut Lawyer just
before the astronaut died (2005) and this subsequently changed everything. Bamford went on to discover all of these interesting things about MOL and
its secret mission to photograph the Soviet Union and he revealed these things to the public for the first time. But that cannot possibly be true
because in the book "Deke", Deke Slayton discusses the MOL's apparently not so secret mission and that book was published in 1994, 1995. This is a
little from the "Deke" book about MOL_____
Actually, it was going to be thirty days of taking pictures and spying. MOL was mostly a manned military reconaissance platform. (That’s why it
was in polar orbit, where you passed over all of the earth’s surface in the space of twenty-four hours.) Anyway, over three years they got seventeen
pilots into MOL, mostly Air Force, but also a couple of Navy guys and a Marine. Flights were originally supposed to start in 1968, then kept getting
pushed back because of budget and design problems. In the spring of 1969 it looked as though all the technical problems had been licked, but flights
were still three years off. Suddenly—I think it was in the course of one week in early June—MOL got canceled. The story was that President Nixon
himself had killed it for financial reasons. (MOL had cost over $1 billion by that point.) NASA had the Apollo Applications project going. What did
the country need two space stations for?
Cassutt, Michael; Slayton, Donald K. (1995-06-15). Deke!: An Autobiography.
One claim Bamford makes in his film is that manned reconnaissance imaging became as good as manned imaging would be or close to it anyway. That is
why MOL was cancelled. But that cannot be true because it was not until the mid 1970s that real time transmission of a large volume of images was
possible. Something like 1976 or so. They could send some images in the late 1960s and early 1970s but it would take forever to send many detailed
images. The advantages to having men on board the photographing platform was that they could review the images themselves and interpret them. They
could send the most important images immediately. They could verbally report on others. This type of thing. The Russians actually did this.
Presumably we did too aboard our spacelabs.
Bamford himself is dealing in disinformation here. His PBS program is intended to lead the public astray and encourage the public to believe that now
the truth about MOL is known.