US: Russia Made 'Very Troubling Development' in Space

A State Department official shared US concerns at a UN conference Tuesday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2018 12:22 PM CDT
This photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official web site on Sunday, June 17, 2018, shows a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with Glonass satellite blasting off from the Plesetsk launch...   (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

(Newser) – Her title is a long one: US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance. And on Tuesday Yleem Poblete sounded an alarm, bringing before a UN conference "a matter related to outer space that is of great concern to my government and that relates to space security." Her comments initially centered around Russia and its history of moves in pursuit of "the development and deployment of anti-satellite weapons" before getting specific: She's concerned about Russia's launch of an inspector satellite that has acted "abnormally."

  • An excerpt of her comments: In October "the Russian Ministry of Defense deployed a space object they claimed was a 'space apparatus inspector.' But its behavior on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities. We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior ... We don’t know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it. But Russian intentions with respect to this satellite are unclear and are obviously a very troubling development."

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