This Day in History
March 18, 1986
17-Year Old American Discerns Mir Launch Before Soviets Announce
The New York Times reports that a 17-year-old student in New Jersey had tracked the launch of the new Soviet space station, Mir, before the Soviet government formally announced it. With a group of friends, Phillip Naranjo tracked transmissions between space vessels and control centers on Earth; just before the Russians announced Mir on February 20, the teens had picked up some Cyrillic code.