Pentagon Says Russia Likely Launched A Space Weapon That Can Take Out Satellites

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The Pentagon announced it believes Russia launched a satellite into low-Earth orbit that might be a counter-space weapon. The Russian satellite is said to be in the “same orbit” as a US government satellite, and Washington says it will continue to monitor the situation in order to protect its assets in space.

Both the US and Russia have been going back and forth in recent weeks at the United Nations, with both accusing the other of seeking to militarize space. It should come as no surprise, as military experts have been predicting that space will probably become the next front for warfare, as technology becomes the predominant weapon of choice.

“What I’m tracking here is on May 16, as you highlighted, Russia launched a satellite into low Earth orbit that we that we assess is likely a counter space weapon presumably capable of attacking other satellites in low Earth orbit,” Major General Pat Ryder responded during a recent new conference.

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Artist rendition of a satellite in space via NASA.

Ryder added that assessments of the Russian satellite show “characteristics resembling previously deployed counter space payloads from 2019 and 2022.”

While Russia has yet to respond to the current accusations, earlier in the week Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova asserted the US was the one seeking to turn space into “an arena for military confrontation.”

Cosmos 2576, the satellite in question, was launched on May 16, 2024, from Russia’s Plesetsk cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. A Russian state space agency reported the launch was “in the interests of the defense ministry of the Russian Federation.”

While the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, Russia has warned that US satellites aiding the Ukranian military could become viable targets. The White House reported in February that it believed Russia was developing a “troubling” new space weapon, but had yet to deploy it.