Cloud of debris: Mysterious Russian satellite crumbled in orbit
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According to the 18th Space Defense Squadron of the US Space Force SDS, which tracks human-made objects in orbit, the device disintegrated on the night of January 3. As a result of the decay, at least 85 fragments were formed that can be tracked. The cloud of space debris now rotates at an altitude of 1169 km above the planet's surface. At this altitude, it would take at least 100 years for the debris to fall down. The SDS did not determine the cause of the collapse of the satellite, but this is far from the only mystery surrounding Cosmos 2499:
The satellite was launched into Earth orbit in May 2014 by a Russian launch vehicle along with three military communications satellites. Kosmos 2499 was not officially included in the launch manifest, so no one knew about its launch.
American satellite trackers initially identified it as a piece called Object E. But then these "fragments" began to make maneuvers. Already in October, the United States officially reclassified “Object E” into "payload" and cataloged as "COSMOS 2499". Since then, the orbital parameters of the unknown satellite have been checked daily.
November 9, 2014 "COSMOS 2499" approached the Russian upper stage “Breeze-M” – this satellite was also launched on such. Then he flew up only 0.76 km. Soon he left, but already on November 25 this happened again – the device came even closer to a distance of 0.53 kilometers to the rocket body. Such activity has led to speculation that Cosmos 2499 is testing technology that could allow spacecraft to stalk and possibly even disable other satellites.
The Russian Cosmos 2499 satellite exploded on 4 January at altitude of about 1,170 km, United States 18th space defense squadron said, adding that the Space Force branch is tracking 85 pieces of debris associated with the space debris. pic.twitter.com/vpAIDpu3tl
— vanhoa (@vanhoa2272) February 10, 2023
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