US officials: A Russian rocket launch last week likely deployed a space weapon

"Naming space as a warfighting domain was kind of forbidden, but that's changed."

May 24, 2024 - 11:50
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US officials: A Russian rocket launch last week likely deployed a space weapon
A Russian Soyuz rocket climbs away from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on May 16.

Enlarge / A Russian Soyuz rocket climbs away from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on May 16.

The launch of a classified Russian military satellite last week deployed a payload that US government officials say is likely a space weapon.

In a series of statements, US officials said the new military satellite, named Kosmos 2576, appears to be similar to two previous "inspector" spacecraft launched by Russia in 2019 and 2022.

"Just last week, on May 16, Russia launched a satellite into low-Earth orbit that the United States assesses is likely a counter-space weapon presumably capable of attacking other satellites in low-Earth orbit," said Robert Wood, the deputy US ambassador to the United Nations. "Russia deployed this new counter-space weapon into the same orbit as a US government satellite."

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