Thursday, 02 April, 2020

Space Force says Russian satellites following USA spy satellite

Gen. John Raymond chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command. Credit Sandra Erwin SpaceNews Gen. John Raymond chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command. Credit Sandra Erwin SpaceNews
Sandy Nunez | 12 February, 2020, 22:39

The Space Force is part of the Air Force, but it specializes in space warfare. "This is unusual and disturbing behavior and has the potential to create a risky situation in space", Raymond said.

Given the situation, the Space Force's concern lies not only with the fact that Kosmos 2542 and Kosmos 2543 seem to be spying on a particularly sensitive American spacecraft, but also with the possibility that the Russian satellite has the potential to physically harm the USA satellite.

"These satellites have been actively maneuvering near a USA government satellite", Raymond said February 10 in an interview with SpaceNews.

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".

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

"The Russian satellites launched in 2017 exhibited characteristics of a weapon when one of those satellites released a high-speed projectile into space", Raymond said this week. Public intelligence shows that a Russian investigator satellite has changed its own location in space into an orbit close to the US.

Russian Federation launched a satellite named Kosmos 2542 in November 2019.

Kelso said he could not yet provide any definitive analysis on the Russian inspector satellite because there is no independent source of observation data to address these questions.

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

Two weeks after the launch of Kosmos 2542, the satellite launched another satellite, named Kosmos 2543. "The second satellite came out of the first satellite".

Space enthusiast Michael Thompson raised concerns one of the Russian satellite's maneuvers on Twitter late last month.

Kosmos 2542 wasn't originally close to United States of America 245.

This is reportedly the first time that the USA military has publicly revealed a threat from another country to one of its spacecraft.

The Space Force, which was only established on December 20, 2019, will have approximately 16,000 personnel.

"The initial costs of setting up the Space Force are likely a small down payment on an undertaking that could cost tens of billions of dollars in the years to come", William D. Hartung, director of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy, told TIME.