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Early in December, 1977, an urgent message was flashed from the headquarters of NORAD North American Air Defense), the AmericanCanadian agency that monitors satellite activity. There are thousands of satellites orbiting our planet -mostly Russian or American. for communications services, do research, observe weather conditions-& engage in military spying. Unseen, invisible to the naked eye, they are of interest only to those directly concerned with their operation.

The urgent message at NORAD indicated that one Soviet satellite had begun to malfunction. It was flipping out of its orbit-and was going to crash into the earth's surface.

What followed that discovery was a real-life science fiction nightmare. Scientists&politicians from America, the Soviet Union&Canada became embroiled in a terrifying tangle of intrigue&guessing-games. Constantly concealing the emergency from the public, they immediately prepared for the impending disaster.

At tracking stations all over the world, the deadly parcel-identified as Cosmos 954, a spy satellite carrying 100 lbs of enriched uranium 235-was followed night&day. Computers were used to determine where&when it would crash. In its final orbits, Cosmos 954 traveled in a pattern that took it directly over Maine, Las Vegas, Miami. everyone-except the public prepared for the emergency.

Cosmos finally plunged into the atmosphere&fell to earth in Canada's remote Northwest TerritoryThe scientists were relieved that no major urban centers were threatened with radioactive poisoning.

For weeks scientists undertook one of the most dangerous, painstaking,&critical searches in history. As the search progressed they realized that there was widespread contamination: particles ranging in size from less than an inch to over five feet long had been showered over an area some 18,000 square miles-larger than Connecticut, Rhode Island&Massachusetts combined. Whatever they did, the deadly radioactive rain would have long-term effects on the entire area. 1978 hardcover
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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