QR.bizNewsIs the Russian spacecraft Kosmos 2542 stalking a U.S. spy satellite?

Is the Russian spacecraft Kosmos 2542 stalking a U.S. spy satellite?

United States of America 245 is one of four NRO spy satellites used to photograph various parts of Earth, notably US enemies.

The U.S. government has expressed concern to Russian Federation via diplomatic channels, Raymond added.

"Last November the Russian government launched a satellite that subsequently released a second satellite". The NRO is a bureau within the Department of Defense and among the five leading US intelligence bureaus. "This is unusual and disturbing behavior and has the potential to create a unsafe situation in space", General John Raymond, the Space Force chief of space operations, said in a statement shared with the media. He also added that similar activities in any other domain would be interpreted as potentially threatening behaviour and the USA finds the recent activities to be concerning.

A Russian satellite launched late previous year, which later split into two, has been tracking a US spy satellite, the commander of the US Spaceforce has alleged.

Gen John Raymond, the chief of space operations for America's newly-minted Space Force, said the two Russian satellites began pursuing the multi-billion dollar USA satellite in November and have at times flown within 100 miles it. In a statement Monday (Feb. 10), General John Raymond said the satellites exhibited the "characteristics of a weapon".

This could potentially usher in a new era of "space war", where weaponized satellites in orbit attempt to gain ground on satellites from other nations.

Kosmos is a small "inspection satellite", capable of using thrusters to maneuver close to other spacecraft for observation.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed the separation on December 6 and said the objective of the experiment was to "assess the technical condition of domestic satellites", according to the TASS news agency.

The confrontation marks the first time the USA military has publicly identified a direct threat to a specific American satellite by an adversary. Soon, the Russian satellites were within 200 miles of the US spy spacecraft, close enough to make visual contact and examine the satellite. The Space Force budget consists of $1.6 billion is for three national-security launches, $1.8 billion will go toward Global Positioning System projects, and $2.5 billion will support "space-based overhead persistent infrared systems", according to a press release by the Department of Defense officials.

The Russian satellites were first spotted by Michael Thompson, a satellite and spacecraft enthusiast who tweeted about the observations.

Gen. John Raymond chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force and commander of U.S. Space Command. Credit Sandra Erwin SpaceNews

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