Saturday, 28 March, 2020


US Concern as Russian Spacecraft Tails American Spy Satellite

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Kristine Garrett | 12 February, 2020, 22:43

However, by January, the two satellites appeared to be shadowing the US satellite-USA 245, also known to space experts as a KH-11.

The outstanding scenario was noted by amateur spacecraft trackers last month, that pointed out that Russian satellite Kosmos 2542 had gradually made its way to precisely the exact same place in orbit since us 245 - a satellite that the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) functions.

Russia's Foreign Ministry was working on its response to concerns voiced by the United States military earlier this week about the "disturbing" behavior of a pair of Russian spacecraft that flew near a US government satellite.

Washington has accused two Russian satellites of tailing a USA spy satellite. According to General Raymond, shortly after the US 245 - a satellite the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) operates - was launched into orbit in November previous year, a Russian spacecraft - Kosmos 2542 - began slowly making its way over to the US spy satellite, getting as close as 100 miles from it.

"The relative orbit is actually pretty cleverly designed, where Cosmos 2542 can observe one side of the KH11 when both satellites first come into sunlight, and by the time they enter eclipse, it has migrated to the other side", Thomspon tweeted. "We need to be sure that we give to our forces this space asset support".

Yleem D.S. Poblete, the USA assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, told the conference how a 2017 Russian satellite's "behaviour on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities".

"It's clear that Russian Federation is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems that fuel our American way of life", Raymond told Time. One of the spacecraft "exhibited characteristics of a weapon", he said. That data is being provided by amateur observers. Done improperly and you could have whoever is trying to track US 245 actually tracking Cosmos 2542.

As it happens, US 245 is itself a spy satellite under the NRO, an American military agency that specializes in surveillance and operates multiple classified satellites that are believed to spy on various locations across the planet. There is no direct sign that the Russian inspectors are planning an attack, however.

Raymond defended the quality of the tracking data provided by the USA government. "It has the potential to create a risky situation in space", he said. "The U.S.is the most transparent in the world", he said.

"The United States finds out these current actions to be about and don't reflect the behaviour of an accountable spacefaring nation", Raymond said.

"They prove that... they [the USA and NATO] keep militarizing space, which can lead to very sad consequences", Morozov said.

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