Kosmos 1402 (Russian: Космос 1402) was a Soviet spy satellite that failed to achieve its correct orbit. Normally, such satellites burn up harmlessly in the Earth's atmosphere upon re-entry. However, Kosmos 1402 was nuclear powered. A similar satellite, Kosmos 954, crashed in Canada's Northwest Territories in 1978.
Kosmos 1402 was launched on August 30, 1982. Normally, such satellites separate from their reactor core upon completion of the mission. The core is then boosted into a "parking orbit". However, the core of 1402 did not boost itself into parking orbit. Kosmos 1402 reentered the Earth's atmosphere on January 23, 1983, hundreds of miles south of the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, leaving no known debris. The core re-entered on February 7, 1983, landing in the South Atlantic Ocean.
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