US News

State Department Observing ‘Inconsistent’ Russian Satellite Maneuvers

Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Yleem Poblete, addressed the Conference on Disarmament at the UN headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday.

A Russian satellite made a number of maneuvers in October 2017 that was “inconsistent” having its expected behavior and marks “a very troubling development,” a high U.S. diplomat said during a speech August 14, 2018.

“In October of this past year, the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed space object they claimed would be a ‘space apparatus inspector.’ But 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,” said Yleem Poblete. the State Department’s assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance. “We don’t know for several what it is and there exists no method to verify it. But Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear and are obviously an incredibly troubling development, articularly, when considered together with statements by Russia’s Space Force Commander.”

Poblete’s comments were section of a domain made with the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland. The address comes less than a week following your Pentagon announced it would begin a Space Force as being a sixth military branch. The Department of Defense released a report Aug. 9 outlining the requirement for and potential organizational structure of the Space Force. In particular, U.S. officials come to mind about advances from China and Russia.

“Although U.S. space systems have historically maintained a technological advantage on those of potential adversaries, those potential adversaries are actively developing method to deny our use of space in the crisis,” the report said.

Poblete used the address to focus on the possible threat of Russian space weapons for example anti-satellite weapons or missiles designed to destroy satellites.

“The Russian Ministry of Defense recently announced the reason is Space Troops have received a mobile laser system which Vladimir Putin announced to the world on March 1 of the year. Russia’s leader himself alluded to space weapons being ‘more acceptable inside political and military respect’,” Poblete said.

She said the purpose of the satellite detected in October remains unclear but that U.S. officials discover the development especially concerning after Russia’s Space Force Commanded highlighted the need for assimilating new weapons prototypes into its Space Force.

Poblete said Russian Ministry of Defense stated inside a press release the satellites were “simply inspector satellites.”

While she didn’t mention the satellite by name, observers have speculated the satellite may be one of the compilation of Russian satellites launched June 23, 2017. In August 23, 2017, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued an announcement having said that “Today, a small-sized spacecraft has separated from the space platform as a way to inspect condition in the Russian satellite.”

A scientific experiment aimed to gauge condition of the satellite according to its internal appearance will be locked in future

In April, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released a Space Threat Assessment report that identified Russia’s space force and anti-satellite technology as one with the significant threats on the United States.

The report pointed to the Soviet Union’s good developing and operating anti-satellite weapons and the use of rendezvous and proximity operations (RPO), that involves moving a satellite to a target to break or destroy it, as a part of Russia’s advantage as it will continue to develop space technology.

Similarly, a study from your Secure World Foundation, also from April, found out that Russia is investing heavily in Rendezvous and Proximity Operations, or RPO, the ability to have a very system in space navigate around and talk with another nation’s satellites. However, that report noted there exists “no proof” they’re disruptive capabilities as opposed to intelligence gathering investments.

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