Russia’s ‘Killer Satellites’ Re-Awaken
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.
The Russian spacecrafts' impressive maneuvers have got observers scratching their heads. No one outside of the Russian government -- and probably the U.S. military -- seems to know for sure what the satellites are for.
Experts say the Russian satellites could be technology-demonstrators. They might also be precursors to orbital weapons.
Either way, the nimble spacecraft are "intriguing," Dr. Laura Grego, a space expert with the Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Daily Beast.
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WNU Editor: These mysterious satellite manoeuvres (and the speculation behind it) are nothing new .... Mysterious Russian satellite sparks ‘orbital weapon’ speculations (RT).