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As McEnery worked through her inbox, an automatically generated report arrived from NASA’s Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis (CARA) team based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. On scanning the document, she discovered that Fermi was just one week away from an unusually close encounter with Cosmos 1805, a defunct spy satellite dating back to the Cold War.

The two objects, speeding around Earth at thousands of miles an hour in nearly perpendicular orbits, were expected to miss each other by a mere 700 feet.

“My immediate reaction was, ‘Whoa, this is different from anything we’ve seen before!'” McEnery recalled.

via NASA – The Day NASA’s Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet.