Mr. Don H. Schoessler
Mr. Don H. Schoessler Draper Prize
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  • Draper
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
Go To Award

As the primary interface engineer between the Corona program and Eastman Kodak Company, Don Schoessler and his team were tasked with engineering, supplying, and processing the film used in the system.

Their challenge was twofold. First, the team had to develop significant quantities of a new high-resolution aerial acquisition film. Second, they had to engineer unique equipment to handle and process the exposed film upon return.

Mr. Schoessler was instrumental in supporting design changes in the photographic films used in the Corona camera. These changes included a new aerial film that could withstand the near-vacuum like conditions of space; thinner films to increase the quantity of film that could be carried on each mission; and finer grain, higher resolution films that helped improve the quality of intelligence and mapping imagery.

At Eastman Kodak Company, Mr. Schoessler continued to support Corona, U-2, and the National Reconnaissance Office reconnaissance projects that followed for nearly 37 years, until his retirement from Kodak in 1986. In 1995 he was honored by the Director of Central Intelligence as a Corona Pioneer.

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  • Draper
  • 2005
  • For the design, development, and operation of Corona, the first space-based Earth observation system.