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CosmosUp | July 22, 2019

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Did Russia Secretly Launch a Satellite-Killer into the Space?

Did Russia Secretly Launch a Satellite-Killer into the Space?
Editors

Here’s an out of this world mystery: Western space agencies are tracking a mysterious object that was reportedly launched into space by Russia — and in turn has launched speculation about what the Kremlin could be pursuing.


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The satellite in question comes by many names: 2014-28E, Cosmos 2499, or even NORAD object 39765. But whatever you decide to call it, one truth remains, experts don’t know yet what it is and that makes it a danger to other satellites currently in Earth’s outer orbit. Popping up in space early last May, after a Russian Rokot-Briz launch sent three military communication satellites up into space, experts originally believed the object to just be a piece of space debris. But since then 2014-28E has moved into different orbits, and has even made its way back to nearby Russian military satellites – something that has satellite observers worried about the intentions Russia has for the mysterious object.
Satellite flying around space could point to revival of anti-satellite weapons, say experts

Satellite flying around space could point to revival of anti-satellite weapons, say experts


Some think that it could be collecting space junk, helping to clean up the useless satellites that are floating around space. Or it could be providing fuel or repairs to other satellites. But others fear that the satellite could be used to destroy enemy ones.

“Whatever it is, [Object 2014-28E] looks experimental,” Patricia Lewis, research director at think-tank Chatham House and an expert in space security said. “It could have a number of functions, some civilian and some military. One possibility is for some kind of grabber bar.”

“Another would be kinetic pellets which shoot out at another satellite. Or possibly there could be a satellite-to-satellite cyber attack or jamming.”

While there is the possibility that Russia indeed has a satellite-killer in space, it is not the only country with the ability to destroy spacecraft. The US Air Force’s X-37B space plane, for instance, which conducts long term secret missions in orbit, is capable of precise movements and may also have the capability to inspect and destroy satellites in space.
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Comments


  1. Gurunandan M

    Why these speculations? Let the concerned authorities do the required. If you have to, just report.


  2. Jun

    Glad to c this news

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