Russia’s ‘Killer Satellites’ Re-Awaken

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ELIZABETH BROCKWAY/THE DAILY BEAST

 

The trio of mysterious spacecraft were idle for at least a year. Now they’re zooming toward foreign satellites again—and no one really knows why.

A trio of mysterious Russian government satellites startled space experts when, shortly after blasting into low orbit between 2013 and 2015, they began dramatically changing their orbits, demonstrating a rare degree of maneuverability for small spacecraft.

Now after being idle for a year or more, two of the mystery-sats are on the move again. On April 20, 2017, one of them reportedly shaved hundreds of meters off its orbit in order to zoom within 1,200 meters of a big chunk of a defunct Chinese weather satellite that China smashed in a controversial 2007 test of an anti-satellite rocket.

By orbital standards, that’s pretty close. Continue reading

Russian Satellites Resistant to Any Possible Control Interception

This signals that it might be too late for the U.S. to enter in any space arms race, as its enemies already have the upper hand in both offense and defense.

 

The control system of Russia’s satellite constellation is protected from any outside intervention, and disabling Russian satellites or intercepting control over them is not possible, Russia’s Titov Main Test and Space Systems Control Center said Saturday. Continue reading

Russia Using Space Warfare Systems in Syrian War

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Moscow relying on satellites to gather intelligence after recent anti-satellite weapons test

Russia is employing a significant portion of its space assets to gather intelligence and conduct airstrikes in Syria, underscoring Moscow’s reliance on the military use of spacecraft, according to reports.

Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff for Russia’s military, said last month that Moscow is directing 10 satellites, including some with civilian uses, to conduct reconnaissance in Syria, locate targets, and enhance communications among Russian armed forces, the Daily Beast reported. Those assets constitute more than 10 percent of Moscow’s space warfare systems. Continue reading

Will Suicide Satellites Be Part of Space Warfare?

Warfare in outer space is almost inevitable. The question isn’t really if weapons in space will become commonplace, it’s what they’ll look like when they are. Hollywood has already offered us some action-packed theories, but missiles, projectile explosives, and high-powered lasers may remain the stuff of science fiction. Recent events suggest that “suicide satellites,” orbital battering rams more or less, will be — at least at first — the more appropriate ballistic for war above the worlds.

In fact, there is reason to believe that Russia is already moving in that direction. Putin’s boys recently launched satellites into low Earth orbit that seem to have the hallmarks of bumper cars. The Russian government claims that there’s nothing to worry about, but, well, they’ve said that before. Continue reading

A Coming War in Space?

Matter of fact, while the article states Russia and America have agreed not to attack each other satellites, it’s only half correct. Only America has suicidally abided by the agreement while Russia cheats as usual. Russia has within the last few years launched a space weapons program where satellites are designed and built to destroy American space-based systems. The following articles are proof enough:

Maneuvering Russian Satellite Has Everyone’s Attention

Mysterious Russian satellite, Object 2014-28E, raises fears we may be on the edge of a space arms race

Whispers about Russia’s so-called ‘satellite killer’ grow louder

Object 2014-28E – Space junk or satellite killer? Russian ‘UFO’ intrigues astronomers

Moscow Could Be Prepping for Space War With Aggressive New Satellites

 

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The Aug. 3 segment gave an interesting look at the command based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, as well as its subordinate units and its leaders, including Gen. John Hyten, whom we covered earlier this year at the annual Space Symposium.

Besides cool footage of the laser firing at the Starfire Optical Range in Albuquerque, New Mexico (the laser helps a telescope better track adversary satellites), the segment was noteworthy for its discussion of the possible coming war in space — and America’s limited ability to thwart attacks against its most prized spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit.Without assets in space to provide GPS coordinates to precision-guided bombs, imagery from drones and communication links to troops, among other advantages, “You go back to World War II. You go back to Industrial Age warfare,” Hyten told the CBS News program. Continue reading

Whispers about Russia’s so-called ‘satellite killer’ grow louder

…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. Continue reading

Russia to Launch 100 Military Satellites in Next Decade

Russia is planning to launch at least 100 military satellites in the next 10 years to boost its reconnaissance and missile detection capabilities, head of Russian Space Agency Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin said on Wednesday.

“The new 100 satellites will provide us with better quality intelligence, faster and more reliable communications,” Popovkin said in an interview with Vesti 24 television.

“This will also enable us to detect the launches and track not only ballistic, but also cruise missiles, theater and tactical missiles,” Popovkin said.

Full article: Russia to Launch 100 Military Satellites in Next Decade (Global Security)