Manned Space Center, Houston
Shuttle crew photo graphed site of old Soviet A-mishap
The space shuttle Challenger took pictures of a 27-year-old nuclear accident site in the Soviet Union, according to Monday's issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine.
Officials believe the pictures taken over Kyshtym, 800 miles east of Moscow, may show how the Soviets altered streams and lakes to limit the damage from radiation and how vegetation in the area changed as a result, the magazine said. They believe buried nuclear waste or an exploded nuclear reactor may have caused the accident.
The 2,400 pictures taken by Challenger astronauts will be reviewed for national security and will probably not be released to the general public for several months.