10 episodes

"Best Podcasts of 2022" - Financial Times

On a January night in 1978, a white light burned through the sub-Arctic sky. It was Cosmos 954, a nuclear-powered Soviet espionage satellite that had malfunctioned and fallen to earth. As the satellite disintegrated, it scattered dangerously radioactive debris across the vast traditional lands of the Dene, Métis, and Inuit in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Operation Morning Light tells the story of the Cosmos 954 disaster, its impact on the land, and the resilience of the communities in the debris field.

Operation Morning Light is hosted by Dëneze Nakehk'o, a Denesuline and Dehcho Dene father from Denendeh. It is produced by Aliya Pabani, and written by Michael LaPointe and Dëneze Nakehk'o. Cover art and design by Jeana Sullivan. The story editor is Matt Willis, and Thomas Curry is the managing producer. Scoring and sound-design by Alice Boyd. For Imperative Entertainment, the executive producer is Jason Hoch, and for Vespucci, the executive producers are Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, and Michael LaPointe.

Operation Morning Light Imperative

    • History
    • 4.8 • 51 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

"Best Podcasts of 2022" - Financial Times

On a January night in 1978, a white light burned through the sub-Arctic sky. It was Cosmos 954, a nuclear-powered Soviet espionage satellite that had malfunctioned and fallen to earth. As the satellite disintegrated, it scattered dangerously radioactive debris across the vast traditional lands of the Dene, Métis, and Inuit in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Operation Morning Light tells the story of the Cosmos 954 disaster, its impact on the land, and the resilience of the communities in the debris field.

Operation Morning Light is hosted by Dëneze Nakehk'o, a Denesuline and Dehcho Dene father from Denendeh. It is produced by Aliya Pabani, and written by Michael LaPointe and Dëneze Nakehk'o. Cover art and design by Jeana Sullivan. The story editor is Matt Willis, and Thomas Curry is the managing producer. Scoring and sound-design by Alice Boyd. For Imperative Entertainment, the executive producer is Jason Hoch, and for Vespucci, the executive producers are Daniel Turcan, Johnny Galvin, and Michael LaPointe.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    White Suits | Chapter 1

    White Suits | Chapter 1

    The people of Snowdrift, a small indigenous settlement, awaken to the sight of people in white suits stalking the streets of their community, scanning the ground with strange instruments. They don’t know it yet, but they’re now a part of a massive search — the only question is, a search for what?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 38 min
    War Game | Chapter 2

    War Game | Chapter 2

    In 1977, the Soviet Union launches a new espionage satellite—Cosmos 954—but soon after launch, its orbit starts to wobble. The question isn’t if it’s going to crash, but when. In a top secret laboratory, American scientists rush to find out where the disaster will take place.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 36 min
    In the Line of Duty | Chapter 3

    In the Line of Duty | Chapter 3

    A massive operation is launched to recover pieces of Cosmos 954. In Snowdrift, a police officer and his partner are tasked with guarding a large chunk discovered in the tundra—an assignment that will change their lives forever.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 41 min
    At Cosmos Lake | Chapter 4

    At Cosmos Lake | Chapter 4

    The operation sets up camp in the tundra and sets out to recover the satellite, but debris from Cosmos 954 has spread far and wide across the landscape, threatening the indigenous trappers who populate the region.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 36 min
    Acceptable Risk | Chapter 5

    Acceptable Risk | Chapter 5

    People living in the Cosmos 954 debris-field begin to notice strange changes in the environment around them. Are they connected to the crashed satellite?
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Loved Ones | Chapter 6

    Loved Ones | Chapter 6

    As the operation concludes, and the story of Cosmos 954 fades from public view, those left in the debris-field are forced to confront a new threat that lay hidden. Until now.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

Skoti134 ,

Much enjoyed hearing this story

Fist in my life I heard of this story. Wow. Very interesting listening to those who lived there then, and now decades later. Unfortunate on the cancer. Yes, most likely attributable to the radiation. Would it be possible to use Google earth or another mapping program to mark the areas the debris fell, the towns, the rivers, etc? Would add perspective to this vast area…. Thanks for writing and presenting this story.

PDJOR ,

Wow!!

This story is told so well I love listening to all the interviews! I never knew anything about this it really is so sad & Will actually make you mad or definitely should. Keep up the amazing work!!!!

Seb 2.o ,

Superb

I grew up in NW Ontario and had never heard of this tragic disaster that occurred the same year I was born. 🤯

This podcast will always my top 5 favorite Podcasts of the year. So we’ll done, beautifully told and both my 17 year old and 12 year old son looked forward to listening to it every week. The history, the interviews, the people, the culture, the music and the story telling are absolutely perfect for the story being told and the little anecdotes sprinkled in have been my 12 year olds favorite parts. He tells everyone who will listen what the Dene “word” for Mounties in and how you can make windows out fish skin with poop hole peep holes.

The general consensus in my family is that this podcast (and we listen to a lot) falls second only to “Outlaw Ocean”. We sincerely thank Deneze Nakehk’o for this beautiful podcast and we hope he has more illuminating and important podcasts in the works!

Top Podcasts In History

iHeartPodcasts
Wondery
Sarah Marshall
Dan Carlin
NPR
Goalhanger Podcasts

You Might Also Like

Imperative Entertainment and Vespucci
Imperative Entertainment
Imperative Entertainment
Campside Media / Sony Music Entertainment
Cavalry Audio
Tenderfoot TV, Resonate Recordings & Cadence13