September 26, 1983

September 26, 1983

Soviet Stanislav Petrov, the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system, narrowly averts nuclear war when the system reported a missile being launched from the United States. Petrov judged that the report was a false alarm. This decision is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States, which could have resulted in large-scale nuclear war. Investigation later confirmed that the satellite warning system had malfunctioned.

Date Range: 
1983CE Sep 26th