Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mysterious Russian Satellites On The Move After Being Idle For One Year

David Axe, Daily Beast: 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.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: These mysterious satellite manoeuvres (and the speculation behind it) are nothing new .... Mysterious Russian satellite sparks ‘orbital weapon’ speculations (RT).

1 comment:

D.Plowman said...

Nothing unusual about this. Just some scare mongering going on by the media.

Satellites make orbital corrections a lot, a lot of which goes unreported. The most often cause of an orbital correction is due to danger of space debris, which is what my money is on in regards to these satellites.