In times of peace, warriors can only ‘play’ war. It is also the case with the two old parties of the Cold War, namely, Russia and America. They moved the playground up in the space espionage playground. And up there, they have launched satellites to supervise moves of one another. But it seems that they aren’t just monitoring — they have mysterious intentions.
Russian probe Cosmos 2542 changed its orbit and seemed to closely track an American spy satellite, the so-called USA 245. It essentially matched orbits with USA 245, says the National Reconnaissance Office. The maneuver can be interpreted as practicing for war.
The American satellite is a KH-11, and it was launched in August 2013. They are satellite-trackers. The 245 maintains orbits 160 miles and 620 miles, viewing landscapes of Earth at low resolution and close-ups at high resolution. The KH_11 are used to provide high-resolution optical and infrared imagery for US intelligence agencies. The US military classifies details of USA-245’s mission. This sounds like enough reason to become of Russian interest.
The US versus Russia in Space — Russian Probe Stalked A US Satellite
Cosmos 2542 is an inspection satellite, launched in November 2019. Fitted with sensors and thrusters, the satellite can get close enough to scan the other spacecraft. If they double as weapons, they can tamper with or even destroy enemy spacecraft. Several Russian inspection satellites with unknown missions were deployed since 2014.
Until January 2020, Cosmo 2542 seemed to keep the distance from the USA 245. It was initially settled into orbit between 250 miles and 550 miles over Earth’s surface, and the official purpose was to continue work on assessing the technical condition of domestic satellites.
The original orbit allowed it to get close to the KH-11 every 11 or 12 days. But its January lingering around the American tracker proved it was sent there to spy it. They seem just to be fooling around up there. For the time, but chances are they are training.