…and America abandoned its Star Wars system that President Reagan saw as absolutely necessary for the U.S. to remain dominant.
While America took the ‘moral high road’ it was duped into disarming further while its adversaries modernized. In this case, the destroying of a previous satellite made it very convenient to camouflage an enemy attack satellite within the debris rotating in orbit along the same elevation as many more — even American military communication ones.
Even though the U.S. Air Force tracks “all objects orbiting Earth”, one has to wonder if it can keep up with the thousands of pieces of space debris created from a single destroyed satellite.
Earlier this year, Russia rocketed several satellites into space. They also deposited what was at the time believed to be a piece of space junk. With no declared orbit, the object was tracked by most of the world’s space agencies, as well as amateur astronomers. Now, whispers are growing the so-called junk might actually be a “satellite killer.”
The Russian name for satellite killer is “Istrebitel Sputnikov,” and during the Cold War this pair of words would have been quickly recognized by U.S. security experts. It was a widely known that one of the main objectives of the Soviet Union (and most other world powers) was to launch anti-satellite weaponry. Most experts, however, assumed such ambitions died with the collapse of the empire.
But Russia’s suspicious piece of space junk — for which an orbital route was never publicly shared — have some suggesting the Istrebitel Sputnikov mission was never abandoned.
“There’s always confusion with these sort of things, because no one knows exactly what these satellites are up to,” Robert Christy, a space expert and veteran amateur satellite tracker, told The Washington Post.
The U.S. Air Force keeps a database of all objects orbiting Earth — except U.S. military crafts — allowing people like Christy to track foreign satellites on their own time. As Christy and others saw, this piece of debris turned unidentified satellite, now known as Object 2014-28E, was able to link up with the remains of the rocket stage that had carried it into orbit. If it could track and link up with friendly pieces of debris, it could potentially cozy up next to an enemy object.
While it could simply be used to rendezvous with Russian satellites and perform repairs — albeit anonymously — it could also be used to more sinister ends, like to destroy or interfere with military communication satellites.
Full article: Whispers about Russia’s so-called ‘satellite killer’ grow louder (Space War)