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US signs four-way agreement with USSR on satellite rescue

The United States announced Wednesday it has signed an agreement with the Soviet Union, France, and Canada to continue at least until 1990 a joint effort using satellites for air and sea rescues. The signing took place Oct. 5 in Leningrad.

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Begun as an experiment in 1979, the program, known as SARSAT, is credited with saving nearly 300 lives, mostly through information provided by Soviet satellites. All those rescued were Americans, Canadians, or West Europeans. SARSAT uses polar orbiting satellites to find lost aircraft and vessels in distress.