Aerial Display As Soviet Booster Rocket Re-Enters Atmosphere
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ A booster rocket from a Soviet satellite launched last week lit up the skies over parts of the West and Canada when it re-entered the atmosphere, a NORAD spokesman said today.
Law-enforcement agencies throughout north-central Idaho and southeastern Washington reported a flurry of calls after the bright lights passed overhead just after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
″Reports from the sightings indicated that it was breaking up and burning as it came down,″ said Del Kindschi, public affairs officer for the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Colorado Springs, Colo.
NORAD’s instruments showed the trajectory for re-entry swept down from western Canada across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, with a final re-entry point over Texas, Kindschi said. The only reports of public sightings NORAD received were from Washington and Idaho, he said.
The booster rocket was believed to have been used to launch Cosmos 1792 on Thursday, Kindschi said.
Ron Corrado, airport manager at Grangeville, Idaho, said a man reported to him that he thought the explosion was as close as 20 miles, indicating that it was very large.
A dispatcher at the Idaho State Police office in Lewiston said she had received a call from a man who had the ″stuffings scared out of him″ by the lights.