NEW YORK, February 11. /TASS/. The United States has notified Russia through diplomatic channels that it was concerned by an incident in which Russian satellites allegedly approached a US one, US Space Force Commander Gen. John Raymond told the Time magazine on Monday.
According to the magazine, Russian satellites identified as Cosmos 2542 and Cosmos 2543, were sidling near the American satellite, known to space experts as a KH-11, in mid-January. USA 245 is a part of the Keyhole/CHRYSTAL reconnaissance constellation and operates in a polar orbit, which enables it to cover the entire surface of the Earth.
"We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing," the US general said. "It has the potential to create a dangerous situation in space."
"It’s clear that Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit our reliance on space-based systems that fuel our American way of life," Raymond continued.
According to the official, the United States has expressed its concerns to Russia through diplomatic channels.
The magazine said the incident marks the first time the US military publicly speak of a direct threat to a specific satellite by an adversary. The Time believes that such maneuvers may enable Russian satellites to receive high-quality images of a US satellite while it is performing its surveillance functions.
The magazine quoted space security expert Brian Weeden as saying that the Russian satellites’ positioning could allow them to determine where the KH-11 is pointing, what ground targets it is taking picture of and the spacecraft’s general operating schedule and usage.
However, Time stressed that maneuvers by Russian satellites do not constitute a breach of any treaty or the international law, because no binding agreements currently exist for this sphere.
TASS was unable to get a comment from the Russian side at the time of the publication.