MOSCOW, Russia – Russian tracking devices have recorded the separation into geostationary orbit of two small probes from a large US military satellite.
Russia tracks the movement of one of them since 2018, according to a document from the Astro Spacial Center that was obtained.
Previously, it was reported that the Russian Automated Warning System for Hazardous Space Situations detected more than 400 maneuvers conducted until 2018 by only one of four GSSAP military aircraft.
In April 2018, the carrier rocket Atlas V transported the military communication satellite CBAS (USA-283) and the military technology satellite EAGLE (USA-284) to the geostationary orbit from the base of Cape Canaveral, USA. Soon after the launch, two satellites of the EAGLE – USA-285 and USA-286 – were separated for an unknown purpose.
Its separation was recorded by the Russian warning system on April 23, 2018. At the same time, the analysis of the movement of the probes revealed an unpredictable change in the trajectory of one of them, which may represent an indication of its maneuverability, reports the document.
The main task of the Russian Automated Warning System for Dangerous Space is the detection of approaching space devices with space debris, the detection of orbiting probe destruction and the tracking of potentially dangerous objects.
The system uses optical-electronic equipment, including telescopes. They are intended to automatically detect space debris and devices, determine their coordinates, as well as transmit the coordinates received and other information to the data collection and processing center.
The system’s equipment performs autonomous search and detection of space objects at altitudes of up to 50,000 kilometers and is capable of detecting space debris devices and elements with brightness of magnitude up to 18.5 (corresponding to a size of 30 to 35 centimeters in altitude of a geostationary orbit).
This registration comes as the US attempts to dominate space and not allow China or Russia to gain some kind of foothold.