Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Two Russian Satellites Tailing US Spy Satellite: Washington

Two Russian Satellites Tailing US Spy Satellite: Washington

"This is unusual and disturbing behavior and has the potential to create a unsafe situation in space", Raymond said. "These activities don't reflect the behavior of responsible space fairing nations".

"We view this behaviour as unusual and disturbing", Raymond told Time.

This is the first time that the US military has publicly revealed a direct threat from another country to a USA satellite.

This incident has led the White House, Pentagon, and Congressional backers to believe that there is a need for a space force to be in place.

The Russian satellites' maneuvering was spotted by Michael Thompson, a satellite and spacecraft enthusiast, who wrote on Twitter that "this is all circumstantial evidence, but there are a hell of a lot of circumstances that make it look like a known Russian inspection satellite is now inspecting a known United States spy satellite".

U.S. military analysts first took note of the Russian mission when a spacecraft that was launched into orbit on November 26 - the Cosmos 2542 - unexpectedly split into two about two weeks later. In December, in the experiment, it was separated by a small space vehicle "Cosmos-2543", is also meant to assess the status of domestic satellites.

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'The way I picture it, in my mind, is like Russian nesting dolls, ' Raymond told Time.

A graduate student, astrodynamics expert, and teaching assistant at Purdue University named Michael Thompson was the first to reveal the odd Russian satellite and the space chase. However, just two weeks after they were launched, amateur spacecraft tracker Michael Thompson noticed that one of the satellites, Kosmos 2542, performed a series of maneuvers that brought it closer to US 245.

The US Space Force, which came into being in December, is the sixth formal force of the US military, after the army, air force, navy, Marines and coastguard. He said the Russian government had characterized those as "inspector satellites".

Both the Russian and US spacecraft travel in a plane between 250 and 550 miles above the earth's surface, where many of about 2,200 orbiting craft reside. Russia, at the very least, exists and has a real space program, making them the closest the U.S. will likely be able to find to a rival in the costly new war-fighting region. The Kosmos-2542 then released a sub-satellite the next month. Soon, the Russian satellites were within 200 miles of the US spy spacecraft, close enough to make visual contact and examine the satellite. Some analysts and satellite watchers have suggested the sub-satellite "inspector" was chasing US 245, a classified imaging satellite owned by the National Reconnaissance Office.

The Kremlin has insisted that the satellites are simply conducting experiments.

Public intellect suggests a Russian researcher satellite has shifted its location in space to a orbit to the US.

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