We don’t know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it.
That’s how one State Department adviser recently described the unexplained behavior of a mysterious Russian satellite in orbit. Where’s the Space Force when you need it? If reports are correct, they might be called into action sooner than we think. Anomalous satellite activity has become somewhat commonplace over the last few years as the world’s superpowers vie for space supremacy. Reports of Russian “killer” satellites, secret space bases, and black rocket launches have surfaced, leading some intelligence agencies to suggest war in space is coming.
Now, remarks made by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance seems to suggest that the Russians are indeed up to something fishy in orbit. While speaking at the recent Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, assistant secretary Yleem Poblete stated that an unknown Russian craft or satellite in orbit has begun displaying anomalous activity which have U.S. intelligence analysts scratching their heads:
In October of last year 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, including other Russian inspection satellite activities. We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared “space apparatus inspector.”
Could she be describing the mysterious “capsule” allegedly sent to the ISS last October? Could this be related to the mysterious destruction of several satellites over the past year? It’s unclear. Whatever the case is, satellite-to-satellite warfare is clearly now a chief concern for defense agencies. The entire military and intelligence apparatus relies on the instantaneous global connectivity provided by satellites, and without them the military is ‘blind’ in many ways.
Is this merely further saber-rattling to justify the creation of the Space Force, or is the Russian military truly up to something nefarious in space? With all of the disinformation on all sides right now geopolitically speaking, it’s tough to say. One thing is certain: tin foil hats aren’t strong enough to protect your skull from debris from falling space fighters. You’re gonna need a bunker for that.