As Cold War 2: Satellite Boogaloo continues to heat up above our heads, the world’s superpowers are busy lining up all of their orbital chess pieces for what will surely be a very interesting conflict in space. The next global wars will be waged in orbit between “killer” satellites capable of taking out enemies’ first-warning, communications, and reconnaissance capabilities or even bombarding the Earth with terrifying new orbital weaponry. If you aren’t convinced that there isn’t already an ongoing war being waged in space, you haven’t been paying attention.
To add to the conflict brewing in the not-so-friendly skies, it seems Russia has just tried to secretly put a satellite in orbit during a routine launch of communications satellites. Defense analysts and U.S. military intelligence aren’t exactly sure what the satellite may be, and some are worried that this could be some unknown form of space weapon. This looks like a job for...SPACE FORCE!
The U.S. Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) tracked three classified communications satellites launched by the Russian military in a single rocket on November 30. After the satellites discharged from the rocket, however, CSpOC began tracking another mysterious object which went into orbit shortly after the three known satellites. It’s currently believed the object is likely an “inspector satellite,” a small craft designed to maneuver close to other satellites and ostensibly repair them.
However, as many military analysts have noted, these inspector satellites could be used to spy on or sabotage other satellites. Back in August, the Russians launched another mysterious payload: a “nesting doll” satellite which appeared to ‘birth’ two smaller satellites. These smaller satellites are difficult to track and could easily be mistaken for orbital debris yet offer strategic capabilities far beyond what their diminutive size may imply. When the satellites start blowing each other up, losing your satellite TV for a few months will be the least of your worries.
Maybe that Space Force isn’t such a bad idea after all...