Russian satellite displaying 'very unusual behavior' raises concerns it could be a space weapon - days after Trump announced plans for Space Force military branch
-Department of State official said at a conference on disarmament that a Russian satellite launched in October has been displaying 'very unusual behavior'
Dr YleemPoblete, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, said the satellite's behavior on orbit 'was inconsistent with anything seen before' and US has not been able to very if it is possibly a weapon
-Russia said the satellite is a 'space apparatus inspector' and has no hostile intent
-The concerns were raised days after Trump announced a military Space Force
#2646596 at 2018-08-17 21:33:09 (UTC+1) Q Research General #3341: Cool And Calm Edition
'What Are They Complaining About?' Experts Dismiss US Fears of Russian Satellite
On Tuesday, the US State Department raised alarm at the UN conference on disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland, about a Russian satellite they knew little about. They concluded that this lack of knowledge was both suspicious and threatening, all but saying it was a Russian weapon.
Astronomers, however, don't seem to understand what the big deal is.
"We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared 'space apparatus inspector,'" US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance YleemPoblete told the UN Tuesday. "The only certainty we have is that this system has been 'placed in orbit... We don't know for certain what it is, and there is no way to verify it."
"Its behavior on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities," she continued.
"This system is certainly puzzling and even unusual," Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, wrote Thursday, "but `abnormal' seems a bit strong, as the US has flown its own classified satellites which have performed unexplained orbit changes, proximity operations and subsatellite deployments."
The spacecraft in question is actually a trio of vehicles: Kosmos 2519, 2521 and 2523, launched on June 23, 2017, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. In orbit, the parent satellite, 2519, deployed 2521 in August 2017, which in turn deployed 2523 in October of that year.
A Kremlin-backed company is working on technology which they say will allow them to essentially vaporise defunct satellites and remove them from the Earth's orbit.
Researchers at the Scientific and Industrial Corporation 'Precision Instrument Systems' (NPK SPP), a subsidiary of Russia's space agency Roscosmos, have drafted a proposal and submitted to the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The proposal details how the company plans to create "an optic detection system which includes a solid-state laser and a transmit/receive adaptive optical system."
The process of wiping out space debris will rely on something known as "laser ablation", which will see it use heat energy to slowly evaporate objects.
However, the US believes that the laser will not just be used to destroy space junk and that the cannon and detection system will be used to destroy and spy on international satellites.
YleemPoblete, US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, told the United Nation's Conference on Disarmament in Geneva - which has been meeting to discuss a new treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space - that the US has deep concern over Russia's plans.