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Space & Astronomy

Mystery Russian satellite is 'stalking' US military satellite

By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2023 · Comment icon 13 comments

Even in space, someone is watching. Image Credit: NASA
There is evidence to suggest that the satellite - named Kosmos-2558 - is tailing a confidential US satellite.
Russia may be attempting to spy on its enemy's satellites, new evidence suggests, with Kosmos-2558 - which launched back in August of last year - making a beeline for almost the exact same orbit as USA-326 - a classified 'overhead reconnaissance' satellite operated by the United States military.

In March, it inched even closer still by performing an orbit-raising maneuver to reach an inclination of approximately 35km beneath the US satellite.

Since then, it has passed very close by on several occasions, leading space experts to class it as an 'inspector' satellite that may be engaged in efforts to observe and collect data about enemy satellites.
Something similar happened back in 2020 when the Kosmos-2542 satellite ventured perilously close to the optical intelligence satellite USA-245 on multiple occasions.

So while it seems as though the intention of these platforms is only to look and not to interfere, these developments suggest that not even classified military satellites can escape observation.

Whether or not this will lead to a potential escalation in the future, however, remains to be seen.

Source: The Independent | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 months ago
Not funny at all. A nation is perfectly entitled, under international law, to defend its airspace  and so shooting down a balloon, when it is in your territory, is a lawful act. Under international law space does not constitute part of a nation's airspace and so destroying another nation's satellite is an unlawful act and potentially an act of war.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nicolette 7 months ago
I didn't know Canada qualified as part of our airspace.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Desertrat56 7 months ago
Did a U.S. plane shoot anything down over Canada, or did the Canadian air force shoot it down?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 months ago
No but Canada has the right to allow the US fighters into it's airspace, a right it exercised.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Nicolette 7 months ago
Yes it did. Or so the headlines said. Didn't catch where these satellites met though.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 months ago
Yes: Source: But it was clearly a joint exercise, as you would expect from NATO allies.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Desertrat56 7 months ago
The U.S. and Canada do cooperate so maybe it was started over Alaska  and the U.S. got permission to follow it over Canada.  (also, did it say U.S. or American?   American includes Canada)
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 months ago
It was definitely shot down by the USAF.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Desertrat56 7 months ago
With the cooperation of Canada.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 7 months ago
It would have caused a diplomatic incident if it hadn't been with their approval (if not cooperation).

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