Grapevine: Nov. 13, 1989

THE SKY IS FALLING. NASA warns that three U.S. satellites may soon crash to earth. First to fall, perhaps next month: the Solar Max Scientific Satellite. The agency hopes to rescue the eleven-ton Long Duration Exposure Facility, designed to test the effects of solar radiation on computer chips, by using the shuttle Columbia to retrieve it from orbit in December. A supersophisticated Air Force-CIA Key Hole spy satellite failed after deployment on Aug. 8. The $1 billion snooper is tumbling wildly, but the time of its demise cannot be predicted.

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