The commander of U.S. Space Command and chief of the U.S. Space Force Gen. John Raymond said recent orbital maneuvers by a Russian "inspector" satellite are unacceptable and appeared to be threatening a U.S. national security satellite. General Raymond, who is the Chief of Space Operations, wasted no time in telling the world that Russian Federation could be aggressively pursuing one of the United States' top military satellites. "These activities don't reflect the behavior of responsible space faring nations".
"We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing", Raymond told Time magazine.
The Time reported that the confrontation marks the first time the USA military has publicly identified a direct threat to a specific American satellite by an adversary.
FILE: Gen. John "Jay" Raymond, the commander of Air Force Space Command and the Joint Force Space Component Command.
The Russian inspector satellite came to the attention of the news media following a series of tweets by Michael Thompson, astrodynamics and space applications graduate student at Purdue University.More news: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wins Daytona 500 pole at ferocious speed
Washington has accused two Russian satellites of tailing a U.S. spy satellite. One expert compared it to a "Russian nesting doll". According to the Russian news agency TASS, this maneuver was meant to test the "technical condition of domestic satellites". Some analysts and satellite watchers have suggested the sub-satellite "inspector" was chasing US 245.
The Air Force and Space Force operate a constellation of satellites in space, including more than a dozen Global Positioning System satellites.
KH-11 satellites' sensors and cameras are said to be focused on foreign adversaries' top-secret military installations.
One of those satellites, the US 224, is widely believed to have taken the highly-detailed image of Iran's Imam Khomeini Space Center that President Donald Trump posted on Twitter in August. The Kosmos-2542 then released a sub-satellite the next month.
'This is all circumstantial evidence, but there are a hell of a lot of circumstances that make it look like a known Russian inspection satellite is now inspecting a known U.S. spy satellite, ' Thompson tweeted on January 30. He reported that Cosmos 2542 made its most recent maneuver on January 31 and was drifting toward US 245.More news: Ellyse Perry bowl to Sachin Tendulkar in Bushfire Cricket Bash
Russian Federation calls its space probes that follow other spacecraft "inspector satellites". "It has the potential to create a risky situation in space".
Two weeks after the launch of Kosmos 2542, the satellite launched another satellite, named Kosmos 2543. "The U.S.is the most transparent in the world", he said.
Then, in 2005, United States upper stage was hit by a piece of a Chinese rocket's third stage.
The first occured in 1991, when Russia's Cosmos 1934 was hit by a piece of Cosmos 926, according to ESA.More news: No coalition without Merkel, say German Social Democrats