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Mysterious Russian satellite sparks ‘orbital weapon’ speculations

RT.com

A mysterious Russian satellite orbiting Earth has global media in a bit of a spin after the object, thought to be space debris, conducted suspicious manoeuvres in space sparking rumors of little less than a revival of old Soviet satellite-killer program.

The unknown space object was reportedly launched into space 6 months ago, along with a cluster of three military communication satellites which received identification names Kosmos-2496, Kosmos-2497, Kosmos-2498. The fourth object was not declared to be among the rocket cargo, so was thought to be debris from the launch and dubbed “Object 2014-28E.” But after it was spotted performing some unusual maneuvers, the US military reportedly re-classified it as a satellite.

“It has been known about for a while, and certainly all satellites are tracked anyway as a matter of routine,” Colin Philp of the British Interplanetary Society told RT.

But with Russian authorities being mute regarding the matter, which might be a common practice for space missions, and anyone being able to track the object online –speculation mushroomed.

The Financial Times was the first to report on the mysterious object presumably being a “Russian satellite killer.” The UK international daily said the object is now being tracked by the US military under the NORAD designation 39765 and claimed that the secrecy around it caused “fears over the revival of a defunct Kremlin project to destroy satellites.”

As Russia's defense ministry did not respond to journalists’ request for comment, more news outlets as well as space enthusiasts on social media, got involved with the mystery.

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