- Three satellites were launched into space at 5.27am on December 7 from the Plessezk Cosmodrome, a spaceport in northwestern Russia.
- While three objects are accounted for, two further objects were also spotted entering space.
- There’s now speculation that they could be navigable satellites — and possibly weapons.
Last Friday (December 7), a Russian rocket was sent into space.
According to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, three satellites were launched into space at 5.27am from the Plessezk Cosmodrome, a spaceport in northwestern Russia — but that isn’t all.
In addition to the satellites, two additional objects were spotted heading into space, according to reports from the Russian Space Web.
We know one is the upper portion of the rocket but what the other object might be isn’t entirely clear. It’s possible that in the event of a faulty launch, a part mistakenly identified as a distinct and separate object could actually have come loose from the main satellite, but according to the Russian news agency Tass, the launch went smoothly — so now there’s speculation that the object is, in fact, a navigable satellite.
“Every navigable satellite is a potential weapon — but does that doesn’t mean every one is a weapon,” explained Professor of National Security at the US Naval War College, Joan Johnson-Freese speaking to Space.com.
According to the liberal Russian news magazine Kommersant, it’s a decoy for the satellite as it wasn’t ready for launch.
This isn’t the first time, however, that Russia has shot a baffling object into space; according to the Independent, there was a great deal of speculation surrounding a separate launch in 2014, where the objects launched into space were also unidentifiable.
According to IFLScience, Object 2014-28E then performed some rather fishy and precise manoeuvres, for example, approaching Russian satellites. While many assumed it was a satellite, the reason for this unusual behaviour is, to this day, not entirely clear and it’s still not certain what Object 2014-28E was.
Destruction of satellites is one way of upsetting national security in other countries. In fact, Russia launched a satellite killer project during the Cold War, but curtailed it following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Regardless, according to City AM, Russian military officials publicly stated they would reinitiate research if their relations with the US over anti-missile defence treaties continued to deteriorate.