MYSTERY WIRE — A second Russian satellite has approached a US spy satellite in orbit, and the commander of the US Space Force has taken notice.
Gen. John “Jay” Raymond said in an interview with Time magazine published online Monday, “We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing.” The Russian crafts have moved within 100 miles of the “multibillion-dollar” spy satellite since launching in November
Reports less than two weeks ago identified a Russian craft trailing the satellite. The second craft’s appearance comes as Business Insider reports that one Russian satellite released a second satellite. Raymond referred to the craft as “inspector satellites.”
“In any other domain,” Raymond said, such a move “would be interpreted as potentially threatening behavior.”
The confrontation marks the first time the U.S. military has publicly identified a direct threat to a specific American satellite by an adversary. The incident parallels Russia’s terrestrial encounters with the U.S. and its allies, including close calls between soldiers, fighter jets and warships around the world. Observers worry that space is now offering a new theater for unintentional escalation of hostilities between the long-time adversaries.Time magazine
Is the incident a signal that we really needed a US Space Force? Or is the publicity coming for a different reason, as a budget of $15 billion is discussed for the brand new branch of the military?
Security for government and private satellites, which have been described as “sitting ducks,” has been at the top of the Space Force’s priorities. Raymond discussed the problem in an interview with Defense One in November.