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USSR admits satellite had malfunctioned

The Soviet Union Sunday admitted there had been a systems failure on board Cosmos 1402, but said the satellite's nuclear power pack would burn up into fine particles on reentering Earth's atmosphere, posing no danger.

The malfunction was admitted by space scientist Oleg Byelotserkovsky, who wrote in an article in the Communist Party newspaper, Pravda, that the fuel core of the satellite would enter the Earth's atmosphere in mid-February. The Pravda article came close to the version of events that had been put out by US government officials for more than a week.

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