US officials say Russia likely just deployed a secret space weapon

US officials have said in a series of statements that Russia's recent rocket launch that occurred last week likely put a space weapon in orbit.

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US government officials have said that Russia's recent rocket launch deployed a payload that is likely a classified space weapon capable of destroying satellites.

Air Force Gen. Charles "<strong>CQ</strong>" Brown

Air Force Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown

The warning comes from Robert Wood, the deputy US ambassador to the United Nations, who said last week Russia conducted a rocket launch, specifically on May 16, when it launched a satellite into low-Earth orbit that the United States has now assessed. According to Wood, the US has reason to believe the payload deployment is likely a counter-space weapon, and it's location is the "same orbit as a US government satellite".

More specifically, the Soyuz rocket's Fregat upper stage released Kosmos 2576 (the payload) into orbit approximately 275 miles above Earth at an inclination of 97.25 degrees to the equator. Notably, Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the US's assessment of the payload is "fake news", but didn't provide any clarifying information.

Furthermore, the orbit of Kosmos 2576 will bring it within a few hundred kilometers of the USA 314, a US military spy plane equipped with a range of Earth-facing telescopes for intelligence gathering. Analysts anticipate Russia will raise the altitude of Kosmos 2576 so it makes a closer pass to the US spy plane,

"The space domain is much more challenging today than it was a number a number of years ago," said Air Force Gen. Charles "CQ" Brown, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in an event Wednesday."We looked at it as a very benign environment, where you didn't have to worry about conflicts in space. As a matter of fact, naming space as a warfighting domain was kind of forbidden, but that's changed, and it's been changed based what our adversaries are doing in space."

"We don't want to have our satellites ... be challenged," Brown said. "So we want to make sure that we have the capabilities to defend ourselves, no matter what domain we're in, whether it's in the space domain, air, land, or maritime. That's where our focus is as a military, in making sure we're investing to provide the capabilities and expertise to do that."

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NEWS SOURCE:arstechnica.com

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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