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.