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Nuclear Reactor Satellite fell apart over Canada – 1978

Nuclear Reactor Satellite fell apart over Canada – 1978

A major clearing operation was carried out, combing as many as 124,000 square kilometers of land (almost equal to the combined area of ​​Croatia, BiH and Slovenia).

On January 24, 1978, a Soviet nuclear reactor satellite collapsed over Canada. It was a Kosmos 954 satellite with a reactor containing as much as 50 kilograms of uranium-235. Just months after launch, the satellite became poorly managed due to a malfunction, and the Soviets secretly warned Americans that they had lost control of it. Moreover, the Kosmos 954 did not even have a system that needed to get its nuclear reactor core away from Earth into safe orbit. Namely, most of the satellites try to move into high orbit (the so-called grave orbit), even beyond the geosynchronous orbit, ie more than 36 100 kilometers from Earth before the end of their useful life. The Soviet satellite Kosmos 954 began to crumble toward the Earth’s surface, and to this day, upon entering the atmosphere, it exploded over North America. Most of the scattered pieces ended up in the northern Canada area, along a 600-kilometer line. A major clearing operation was carried out, combing as many as 124,000 square kilometers of land (almost equal to the combined area of ​​Croatia, BiH and Slovenia). Interestingly, the USSR launched as many as 30 similar satellites with nuclear reactors into space.

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