Russia secretly launched a tracking satellite into space
The spy satellite, slated to be named Kosmos 2558, was put into the same orbit as the US military satellite 326, which was launched in February.
In covert news about space activities, a Russian spy satellite has just been launched. With its current position, it will reach operational orbit around August 4, 2022.
Before launch, the new Russian spacecraft is said to carry a spy satellite and is specially designed to track other satellites. The spy satellite, slated to be named Kosmos 2558, was put into the same orbit as the US military satellite 326, which was launched in February.
The Russian satellite was launched at a time when the US satellite was traveling above Russia's Plesetsk cosmosphere, according to Marco Langbroek, a lecturer in astronomy at Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, who has tracked the orbit of the Russian satellite. two satellites.
"The two orbits are very close together, the main difference being the relatively small difference of several tens of kilometers in orbital altitude," Langbroek said. "So that's a very clear sign."
According to Langbroek, the US satellite is moving on an incline of 97.4 degrees relative to the Sun, while the Russian satellite is moving on a 97.25 degree incline, Langbroek explained. The Russian satellite may also move its orbit in the next few days to get closer to its American counterpart.
“If one or both of them fail to maneuver in the meantime, Kosmos 2558 will pass USA 326 at a distance of about 75 km (46 mi) on August 4, near 14:47 UTC [10:47 a.m. ET] ,” Langbroek said.
Reconnaissance satellites are nothing new. According to experts like Langbroek, this type of Russian satellite has been used to track satellites in orbit.
"Perhaps it has some sort of sensor system optimized for observing other satellites, rather than the usual type of observation satellite optimized for ground imaging," said Jonathan McDowell, a scientist astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, also adds. "We don't know that for sure, we just infer it from the way it works."
The new satellite also appears to have a maneuverable propulsion system, allowing it to adjust its orbit in a variety of ways, McDowell explained. This would be very helpful if the new Russian satellite is indeed some kind of spy satellite.