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.
“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.”
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