Espionage in orbit: Russian satellite is caught spying on another satellite

The French company Aldoria Space, which tracks objects in orbit using a network of ground-based telescopes, has published a very revealing record. It demonstrates how the Russian Luch-2 inspection satellite approaches other spacecraft.

The rendezvous of the Russian spy satellite Luch-2 with another spacecraft. Source: Aldoria

The rendezvous took place on April 12, 2024, in geostationary orbit. After that, Aldoria Space gave a warning to satellite operators about the sudden maneuvers of the Russian spacecraft. 

Aldoria Space didn’t report which satellite was spied on by Luch-2. But it is known that the minimum distance between the objects was 10 km. As of the beginning of June, they were at a distance of 20-50 km from each other.

Such maneuvers are not uncommon for Russian and Chinese spacecraft, which have been repeatedly caught spying on other satellites. For example, in October 2023, the same Luch-2 (also known as Olympus-2) approached another geostationary satellite at a distance of 60 km. By the beginning of December, it had left this position and now found a new goal for itself.

The news of the next rapprochement appeared against the background of how representatives of American intelligence and the Pentagon accused Russia of trying to militarize space by launching a vehicle that was actually an anti-satellite weapon. We are talking about Cosmos-2576. It was launched on May 16. And now it moves in the same orbital plane as the American reconnaissance satellite USA 314.

Earlier, we talked about why Russia planned to deploy nuclear weapons in space.

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