In the early 1960s, 400 million copper wires were launched into space, forming a ring around Earth.
So much of what happened during the Cold War is still relatively unknown to the general public.
On May 24th of 1963, the Harvard Crimson reported that 400 million copper wires had been launched 2300 miles above the planet and were circling earth.
No, it wasn’t an accident, it was part of Project West Ford, a plan devised and executed by the US as a means of ensuring that long-range communications couldn’t be compromised by the Soviets.
The US feared that as part of an attack, the Soviets would somehow disable the telephone and telegraph cables on the ocean floor.
That would leave only radio, which is notoriously undependable due to outages caused by solar flares and the like.
An MIT scientist said he had the perfect plan — give radio waves a boost of stability by surrounding the planet with a bunch of copper wires.
It was guessed that they’d just fall back to Earth eventually, so there wouldn’t be a problem.
And, that’s exactly what happened, except not all made it back to Earth.
On their way to space, many of the wires fused, forming large clumps that remain in orbit today.
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