India Timed Tests to Elude Satellites

<i> Associated Press</i>

India was able to set off five nuclear tests this week without detection because it knew when to hide from U.S. spy satellites--not because American spies were asleep at the wheel, nuclear experts said Friday.

U.S. lawmakers have blamed their spies for the failure. But scientists here long ago figured out when American satellites could see the desert range where three underground explosions were detonated Monday and two more Wednesday, said R.R. Subramanian, a nuclear physicist with New Delhi’s independent Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses.

Hiding preparations for the tests was merely a matter of choosing the hours when the satellites were looking elsewhere to move the necessary people and chemicals, he said.