In the 1957 the United Socialist Soviet Republic (USSR) launched Sputnik I as the first blow of the “space race”. Most people around at the time were fascinated thinking that the “space race” was all about exploration and who would get to the Moon first. What most of us didn’t know is that both sides had plans to take the “Cold War” into space.
Before the USSR broke up they still had a plan called “Istrebitel Sputnikov” or “Satellite Killer” in the works. When the USSR broke up in the early 1990’s there wasn’t the funding to keep the project going and it was thought the project was scraped and long forgotten. Recent activity observed by satellite tracker has made some people wonder if maybe those plans have been brought back from the dead file.
In May of this year Russia launched four objects. Three of these were military communication satellites and one was just known as “Object 2014 28E”. After the all the objects were deployed in space it was thought that “Object 2014 28E” was just harmless debris until last week when it was tracked maneuvering to a rocket stage that carried it into space. The Financial Times first reported about this object and its suspicious activity on November 17.
“Whatever it is, [Object 2014-28E] looks experimental,” said Patricia Lewis, research director at think-tank Chatham House and an expert in space security. “It could have a number of functions, some civilian and some military. One possibility is for some kind of grabber bar. Another would be kinetic pellets which shoot out at another satellite. Or possibly there could be a satellite-to-satellite cyber attack or jamming.”
In October of this year a United States Air Force unmanned drone landed after its second mysterious mission. Theories have abounded, including killing satellites, on the purpose of those missions. As far as we know our re-usable military drone has been around years longer then the Russians supposed satellite killer. It makes one wonder if “Object 2014 28E” could be in retaliation of our drone and if there could be a new “space war” brewing.
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