The Russian inspection satellite seems to be stalking the American spy satellite in space
A mysterious Russian spacecraft seems to be HARASSING a US spy satellite. UU. After maneuvering in a new orbit around Earth
- A Russian inspection satellite has recently synchronized its orbit with the US. 245
- Student blogger tweets satellite movements based on publicly available data
- Cosmos 2542 was launched with the aim of inspecting only Russian satellites
- But it is feared that the Russian ship may gather intelligence to plan an attack.
A Russian satellite has been changing its position in orbit to bring it closer to an American spy satellite, according to publicly available data.
The Russian satellite, called Cosmos 2542, synchronized its orbit with USA 245, an American reconnaissance satellite deployed for military and intelligence applications.
The Russian satellite movement was tracked on Thursday by Michael Thompson, a graduate student and independent satellite tracker, and detailed On twitter.
Cosmos 2542 has had the ability to observe USA 245 steadily over the past week and is “hanging around” US 245 in a consistent view, he said.
The blue line (US satellite) and the purple line (Russian satellite) as the latter moves a relatively short distance between the two
The reason for this behavior is unknown, but it would be unusual for satellites belonging to allied nations to behave in this way, suggesting that there may be a reason for counterintelligence.
Russia has a series of communications satellites positioned on Earth that the Kremlin could use to gather intelligence or even deactivate or destroy other satellites, according to Unit.
This could mark the beginning of a new era of “space warfare”, where armed orbiting satellites try to gain ground on other nations’ satellites.
The Russian satellite was launched in November, but only in the last week has it begun to orbit relatively close to its American counterpart, according to Thompson, according to the data. detailed online by a community of amateur satellite trackers.
‘As I write this, the travel distance travels between 150 and 300 kilometers [93 and 186 miles] depending on the location in the orbit, “he tweeted Thursday.
This distance is relatively close for two satellites that orbit at a speed of thousands of miles per hour, about a second apart, he said.
‘The relative orbit is actually designed quite intelligently, where Cosmos 2542 can observe one side of the KH11 [USA 245] when both satellites go to sunlight for the first time, and by the time they enter the eclipse, they have migrated to the other side. “
Its orbital periods are now separated by less than 1 second, which means that Cosmos 2542 is ‘hanging around the United States 245 in a consistent view’
Thompson said there are “a lot of circumstances” that make it appear that a well-known Russian inspection satellite is tracking the US spy satellite.
Cosmos 2542 was launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow, in November, and was established in orbit between 250 miles and 550 miles above the Earth’s surface.
In December, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that it had conducted an experiment to deploy another smaller satellite, called Cosmos 2543, while in orbit, reports The Drive.
When it was launched, the Russian Ministry of Defense said: “The purpose of the experiment is to continue working to assess the technical condition of domestic satellites.”
At the original launch in November, Russia said only Russian satellites would be inspected, Thompson added.
Have satellites ever collided in space?
In the decades since humanity first launched satellites into orbit, there have only been four known collisions between two of those objects in space.
But, experts say satellite accidents will be more common in the future.
The first occurred in 1991, when Russia’s Cosmos 1934 was hit by a piece of Cosmos 926, according to ESA.
Five years later, France’s Cerise satellite was hit by a piece of an Ariane 4 rocket.
Then, in 2005, the upper stage of the United States was hit by a piece of the third stage of a Chinese rocket. In 2009, an Iridium satellite crashed into Russia’s Cosmos-2251.