Maneuvering Satellite Has Everyone’s Attention

Yubileyniy [NPO-PM]

A Russian military satellite launched in March has made at least 11 close approaches to the rocket upper stage that released it into orbit, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force.

Such maneuvering capability is consistent with, but not necessarily indicative of, an on-orbit anti-satellite weapon. [see link below]

According to Gunter’s Space Page, the potential anti-satellite weapon is likely part of the COSPAR 2015-020D launch that included Kosmos 2491, 2499, and 2504 (RS 46, 47) on March 15, 2015. A month after launch, Kosmos 2504 began maneuvering as an orbital inspector. Kosmos 2491 is in a 1482 km × 1507 km, 82.4° orbit, and Kosmos 2499 is in a 1479 km × 1508 km, 82.4° orbit.


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