Russia Just Launched Five Objects Into Space. One Problem, There Were Supposed To Be Four

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ESA

 

The available information suggests that the Russians may have put yet another secretive “killer satellite” into orbit.

The Russian military says it successfully placed three classified communications satellites into orbit today, along with the upper stage of the rocket that put them there.  But according to the U.S. military’s Combined Space Operations Center, or CSpOC, a fifth object, possibly another, unannounced satellite, may have hitched a ride into space on the launch.

The Rokot/Briz-KM launch vehicle blasted off from Pad 3 at Site 133 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Western Russia at just before 5:30 PM local time on Nov. 30, 2018, according to RussianSpaceWeb.com. At approximately 7:12 PM, the three Rodnik communications satellites had deployed into their assigned orbits. Russia has named the trio of satellites Kosmos-2530, Kosmos-2531, and Kosmos-2532. Continue reading

China’s Great Leap in space warfare creates huge new threat

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force fighter pilots pose at the Jiuquan space base, in Gansu province. Photo: China Out / AFP

 

China is building an array of high-technology space arms – anti-satellite missiles, lasers, GPS jammers and killer satellites – that Beijing says will give its military strategic advantage in a future conflict with the United States.

The People’s Liberation Army now has the capability of attacking, destroying or disrupting the 500 US satellites circling the earth at heights of between 1,200 miles and 22,000 miles, according to a new study by a US think tank, the National Institute for Public Policy.

The report, on “Foreign Space Capabilities,” also reveals that China’s military has discussed plans for using space detonations of nuclear weapons to create electronics-killing Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks against orbiting satellites used by militaries for precision weapons targeting, navigation and communications. Continue reading

Vulnerable Military Satellites Creating a ‘Maginot Line’ in Space (Updated)

While the possibility of anti-satellite weapons, jamming and cyber-attacks aimed at the U.S. military’s fleets of communication satellites is making them vulnerable to adversaries, declining defense budgets constitute an equal threat to the space architecture the services rely upon, according to a report released July 24.

Like the Maginot Line that gave the French a false sense of security prior to the German Blitzkrieg in World War II, the U.S. military has assumed since the end of the Cold War that no one would dare launch an physical attack on its satellites because that would violate international norms. Just as the Germans did away with such niceties and invaded France through a neighboring country, an adversary could go after one of the military’s biggest Achilles’ heels, its space-based communication system, said Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and author of a new report, “The Future of Milsatcom.” Continue reading