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Russia likely launched anti satellite

US Alleges Russian Anti-Satellite Weapon Launch

US: Russia Has Launched an Anti-Satellite Weapon | Extremetech

The US has accused Russia of launching a satellite last week that could potentially attack other satellites. Pentagon spokesman Brig Gen Pat Ryder announced on Tuesday that the satellite, now in low Earth orbit, is likely a counter-space weapon. It shares the same orbit as a US government satellite, prompting Washington to closely monitor the situation and prepare to defend its space interests.

US Accuses Russia of Launching Anti-Satellite Weapon Into Orbit

Russia has not publicly commented on the matter. The two nations have recently clashed over space militarization issues at the UN, with both sides blaming each other for escalating tensions in space.

On Tuesday, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the US of trying to turn space into a “military confrontation arena.” Experts have long warned that space could become the next frontier for warfare in a technology-dependent world.

Gen Ryder emphasized that the Russian satellite, presumably capable of attacking other satellites, resembles previously deployed counter-space payloads from 2019 and 2022. The Pentagon stressed the need to protect the space domain to ensure continuous support for joint military operations.

The satellite, named Cosmos 2576, was launched on May 16 from Russia’s Plesetsk cosmodrome. Russia’s Roskosmos space agency stated the launch, conducted with a Soyuz-2.1b vehicle on May 17, was for the Russian defense ministry. The different launch dates are likely due to the time zone difference, as Moscow is three hours ahead of GMT.

Space analysts indicate that Cosmos 2576 is in the same orbit as the US satellite USA 314. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it has warned that US satellites aiding Ukraine could become targets. In February, the White House acknowledged Russia’s development of a new space weapon, though it had not yet been deployed.

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies highlighted Russia’s development of various anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, including a missile tested against a defunct Soviet-era satellite in November 2021.

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