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Space & Astronomy

Does Russia have a space weapon in orbit ?

By T.K. Randall
November 18, 2014 · Comment icon 24 comments

Russia launched the satellite in secret back in May. Image Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
Speculation is rife over the purpose of a secretive Russian spacecraft currently orbiting the planet.
The object has been gaining the attention of both space agencies and amateur satellite-watchers due to its unconventional orbit and because to date nobody has been able to explain what it is.

Some believe that it could be a system for picking up space debris while others subscribe to the idea that it is some type of weapon designed to attack and destroy other satellites.

Its launch back in May was not declared at the time.
"Whatever it is, it looks experimental," said space security expert Patricia Lewis. "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."

At the weekend the satellite was observed moving towards another object, fuelling suggestions that it may have finally intercepted its intended target and completed its mission.

Source: Independent | Comments (24)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by bison 10 years ago
There are sound arguments against the killer-satellite scenario, as the article, linked below, explains. The main one is that Russia, and China, too, are technologically ill-equipped to compete with the United States in this sort of 'satellite war'. Russia currently has only two early warning satellites operating, in a system that calls for eight for full coverage. They would be wiser to use their space launch capabilities to fill in these deficiencies. That may be just what they are trying to do, with the object being discussed here. http://www.csmonitor...atellite-killer
Comment icon #16 Posted by SurgeTechnologies 10 years ago
Here is the test run of this supposed weapon.
Comment icon #17 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
There are sound arguments against the killer-satellite scenario, as the article, linked below, explains. The main one is that Russia, and China, too, are technologically ill-equipped to compete with the United States in this sort of 'satellite war'. Russia currently has only two early warning satellites operating, in a system that calls for eight for full coverage. They would be wiser to use their space launch capabilities to fill in these deficiencies. That may be just what they are trying to do, with the object being discussed here. http://www.csmonitor...atellite-killer China demonstrated p... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by toast 10 years ago
Here is the test run of this supposed weapon. More details please. If available.
Comment icon #19 Posted by mesuma 10 years ago
I have given up worrying about this stuff. We got them, China's got them, Russa's got them, who knows who else. Anybody who can put a satellite in space can put up space weapons. Eventually somebody is going to start using them and start taking out our communication satellites, then we won't have to worry about punctuation. You mean no exclamation marks after KABOOM!!!?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Atuke 10 years ago
It's been well known that the former USSR and now Russia cannot be trusted in outer space. And remember what they did to that dog?
Comment icon #21 Posted by bison 10 years ago
China demonstrated perfectly it can shoot satellites from the ground http://news.bbc.co.u...fic/6289519.stm I think all this talk of Russia being 'behind' - somehow...is is a bit of propaganda tbh. A one-off destruction of one of its own weather satellites, nearly eight years ago, doesn't amount to a readiness, or willingness to conduct a 'satellite war'. I doubt that the appraisal of Russia, as not being willing or able to conduct an anti-satellite campaign, amounts to propaganda. The source of this evaluation, given in the article I linked, is Alexander Golts, A Russian citizen, and military... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by alfonso 10 years ago
It was Europe actually.. . really? the top secret X-37B USAF is American
Comment icon #23 Posted by seeder 10 years ago
really? the top secret X-37B USAF is American Ah Ok, the way you said it - 'just landed' - made me think of Rosetta, the space plane landed in mid October I believe.. hence the confusion .
Comment icon #24 Posted by DONTEATUS 10 years ago
12 seconds of Flashing in the Sky ? Maybe It was a pre-show for U-2s new Gig in Europe ?


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