RUSSIA has reportedly launched a spacecraft that could be an attempt to track a US spy satellite.
As part of a mission called Kosmos-2558, the Russian satellite 14F150 Nivelir is currently in an orbit that would place it suspiciously close to the US satellite known as USA-326.
Space journalist and editor of RussianSpaceWeb.com, Anatoly Zaktweeted on Monday about the launch of the probe.
His tweet suggests the satellite was launched as a payload on the Soyuz 2.1v rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia.
This sparked rumors online that it will serve as an “inspector” satellite, secretly spying on nearby spacecraft.
The 14F150 Nivelir satellite has been launched into a Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
This usually applies to satellites traveling over the Earth’s polar regions to keep their orbits in sync with the Sun.
However, a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry called it a military satellite. However, its exact purpose is still unknown.
According to US Space Force commander General John “Jay” Raymond, the Russian satellite pair had come extremely close, within 100 miles of America’s shuttle.
“We consider this behavior to be unusual and concerning,” Raymond said to Time magazine back then.
“It has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space.”
Raymond said the US government had contacted Moscow about the short range of the satellites and expressed its concerns “through diplomatic channels.”
However, the Russian news agency TASS dismissed the maneuver as a mere test to examine the “technical condition of domestic satellites”.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9196879/russian-space-probe-us-satellite-stalking/ Russian ‘space probe’ appears to be STALKING US spy satellite over Earth