Secretive Russian Satellite Breaks Apart In Orbit, Creating Debris Cloud

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Feb 11, 2023 - 04:20 AM

A secretive Russian satellite launched nearly a decade ago has experienced a "breakup" in outer space, according to a tweet published by the US Space Force's 18th Space Defense Squadron. 

The Space Force said the Kosmos 2499 spacecraft disintegrated on Jan. 4 and unleashed a hazardous cloud of debris orbiting the planet. 

The military branch that conducts operations in outer space did not explain why Kosmos 2499 broke apart. However, one person on social media asked a good question.

Business Insider and cited's Anatoly Zak, who said Russia launched a rocket in late 2013, supposedly carrying three military communications satellites into orbit. But it wasn't until space trackers found a fourth and very mysterious spacecraft (Kosmos 2499) that was also released into orbit. 

Zak said the head of Roscosmos in 2014 assured world leaders that Kosmos 2499 wasn't a "killer satellite." Roscosmos never revealed the satellite's mission. 

As for space debris, Brian Weeden, an expert in space junk at the Secure World Foundation, told Ars Technica this is likely not a catastrophic event.