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US denies Soviet claim satellite is not a threat

The Defense Department denied the Kremlin's claim that an errant nuclear-powered Soviet satellite posed no danger because it would burn up before reentering the Earth's atmosphere.

The official Soviet news agency Tass said earlier that the satellite, described by US sources as an espionage device, had broken up in space and that its nuclear power pack either had or would burn up in the Earth's atmosphere. But the State Department said a US emergency land search team was standing by in case the satellite comes down on land.

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