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Soviet Union

5. Soviet Union, 1986
Imagery taken by the French satellite SPOT marked the first use of commercial satellite imagery by a news organization (ABC News) to independently confirm a major news story. This was significant because the Soviets were denying that the nuclear accident at Chernobyl had taken place. Satellite imagery, it was now clear, could show events and places in countries where the news media was denied access. This is a combined SPOT-Eosat image of Chernobyl; the red dot is a thermal signature revealing the extreme heat of the reactor meltdown.

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