Two Russian Satellites Chasing American Satellite

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Gen. John Raymond said recent orbital maneuvers by a Russian "inspector" satellite are concerning and threaten stability in space.

To that end, Gen. John Raymond, the commander of Space Force, has accused Russian satellites of coming very close to a United States spy satellite, and showing "unusual and disturbing behavior".

Raymond was referring to a pair of Russian satellites launched Nov 25. The Kosmos-2542 then released a sub-satellite the next month. Because of the nature of their orbits, the Russian satellites were able to see multiple sides of the US 245.

"We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing", he told TIME. The Russian and USA satellites pass each other, approximately every 10 days, but on January 20 the Russian spacecraft came within 100 miles of the US craft.

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

"We remain committed to preferring that space remain free of conflict", Raymond told SpaceNews.

Russian media have said the newer Russian satellite in question is the Kosmos-2542.

Kosmos 2542, which was launched in November and split into two separate satellites when it reached earth orbit, is in the same plane as U.S. 245, a secretive satellite launched in 2013 by the National Reconnaissance Office.

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

"The most recent close approach took place on January 21st, but instead of then drifting away as usual, Cosmos 2542 performed a series of maneuvers on the 20th, 21st, 22nd, and 23rd to match the period of US 245".

Raymond did not dispute Thompson's account and confirmed that there was a "close approach to a known USA satellite". The US authorities through diplomatic channels, Moscow has expressed its concern over the situation, said the General.

Raymond also revealed that the United States believes Russian Federation in 2017 deployed a similar satellite that released a sub-satellite. "One of these satellites released a projectile into space".

To be sure, some satellite watchers have challenged Thompson's analysis and believe more research is needed to confirm that the Russian satellite was intentionally shadowing United States of America 245.

"The last thing we need is more bureaucracy at the Pentagon, but that's exactly what the Space Force is likely to give us". That data is being provided by amateur observers.

Russian Federation has a number of communications satellites positioned above the Earth that the Kremlin could use to gather intelligence or even disable or destroy other satellites, according to The Drive.

The commander compared the two satellites to the satellites launched by Russian Federation in 2017 which reportedly displayed characteristics of a weapon. Most U.S. companies that track space objects, he said, "don't want to touch that live wire of tracking a classified U.S. satellite".

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