Raumfahrt - Spekulation um Re-Entry von Kobalt-M Spionagesatelliten über USA



Russia Denies Burn-Up of Military Spy Satellite Over U.S.


The Defense Ministry has challenged reports that a Kobalt-M spy satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere and burnt up over the U.S., potentially leaving Russian military intelligence photos lying in Colorado or Wyoming.
On Sept. 3, the American Meteor Society recorded more than 30 eyewitness reports of a slow-moving fireball crossing Colorado and into southern Wyoming. Local media reported the event as a meteor entering the atmosphere, but amateur space flight observers on the spaceflight101 blog said on Tuesday it must have been a Russian Kobalt-M spy satellite, after comparing the path of the fireball to the orbits of known satellites.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov denied this on Tuesday, however, claiming that Russia keeps close tabs on its satellite fleet and that nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
"We can only guess what condition the representatives of the so-called American Meteor Society must be in to have identified a [fireball] at that altitude as a Russian military satellite," Konashenkov quipped in a comment carried by RIA Novosti.
However, the amateur claims are backed up by the U.S. Space Tracking Network, which publicly tracks the orbits of spacecraft and issues warnings when it detects a satellite that is in danger of falling from space.
On Sept. 2 it issued such a warning for Kosmos-2495 — the international catalogue designation for the Kobalt-M satellite.
The satellite, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome near Arkhangelsk on May 6, was not equipped to digitally transmit its photographs back to its handlers at Russia's military intelligence unit, the GRU. Instead, it was designed to drop its film in special canisters from space onto Russian territory.
Interfax reported Tuesday that the satellite may have been attempting to position itself to drop a canister back to Earth, when it moved into too low of an orbit — thereby falling back to earth over the U.S.
It is possible that much of the satellite and its photos survived, and are now sitting somewhere in the U.S. midwest.
Quelle: The Moscow Times
Update: 12.09.2014
Air and Space Defense troops deny spacecraft Cosmos-2495 exploded over US territory
MOSCOW, Russia's Air and Space Defense (ASD) troops have dismissed reports of an explosion of the spacecraft Cosmos-2495 over the US territory.
"All spacecraft of Russia's orbital group are functioning in designated orbits in established modes and are steadily monitored by ground means of the space monitoring system of the Main Space Situation Exploration Center of the ASD Space Command. There are no malfunctions or deviations in the standard operation of Russian spacecraft," Colonel Alexey Zolotukhin, ASD spokesman, told ITAR-TASS.
Update: 5.10.2014

Space Sleuths Piece Together Fiery Fall of Russian Spy Satellite Debris

GOLDEN, Colorado - A global network of skywatching detectives has pieced together the strange story of a Russian military spy SATELLITEthat re-entered Earth's atmosphere earlier this month, the leftovers of which sparked a spectacular sky show over five U.S. states.
OBSERVERS across parts of Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico caught sight of debris from the military satellite via a fireball on Sept. 2 around 10:30 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, reporting their OBSERVATIONS to the American Meteor Society.
The focus of attention is Russia's Cosmos 2495, an Earth-imaging reconnaissance SATELLITE. It was a hefty spacecraft, in the Kobalt-M series, a family member of the Yantar chain of Russian satellites. Russia launched the SATELLITE on its intelligence-gathering mission on May 6 of this year. [Photos: Declassified U.S. Spy Satellites]
The resulting fireball from parts of the Cosmos 2495 spysat's re-entry was not only spotted by skywatchers. It was also caught that night by a number of all-sky cameras, including the Cloudbait Observatory  here in the central Colorado Rocky Mountains.
An on-line buzz about the occurrence found a home at SeeSat-L, the mailing list for visual satellite observers, which has become an invaluable tool to study all manner of spacecraft events. So here's what happened with Cosmos 2495.
SATELLITE tracker Thomas Ashcraft, of Heliotown in Santa Fe, New Mexico, captured this long-exposure view of the brilliant fireball created by debris from a suspected Russian spy satellite on Sept. 2, 2014.
Russian spysat falls from space
This multipart Cosmos 2495 consists of an equipment module, an instrument module, a camera re-entry vehicle and a large sun SHADEwith additional antennae and sensors. It is designed to re-enter Earth's atmosphere so that its camera canister can be retrieved by a recovery crew.
At the end of its mission on Sept. 2, the Russian spysat fired its engine to begin its return to Earth. Its fiery re-entry was witnessed and videoed from a large part of western Kazakhstan. The module carrying the cargo of exposed film and a reusable camera separated, and is believed to have landed near the city of Orenburg in Russia. The remainder of the spacecraft, meanwhile, burned up as planned.
Now, it appears that the slow-moving fireball spotted over the U.S. on Sept. 2 — some 10 hours after Cosmos 2495's intelligence camera module had safely touched down — was due to a lingering leftover from the Soviet military spacecraft. [6 Biggest Spacecraft to Fall from Space]
"I believe that is the consensus now," said veteran spacecraft tracker Ted Molczan of Toronto, Canada, who maintains the SeeSat-L MAILING LIST.
After reviewing the Russian SATELLITE mission, Molczan said his analysis "strongly supported the Cosmos 2495 debris hypothesis," he told
"Having spent much of the past two years cataloguing historical re-entry sightings, I was not surprised by these EVENTS," he added. "Of the 239 re-entries I have catalogued to date, this is the fifth case attributable to lost or un-catalogued objects that could be shown to correlate with a known parent or launch."
Like Molczan, other spacecraft trackers chimed in on the case of Cosmos 2495.
For example, astronomer Sergey Yefimov contributed very significantly to solving the mystery, Molczan recalls. On Sept. 3, Yefimov alerted Molczan to fireball sightings from western Kazakhstan and the Orenburg region of Russia, including videos that Yefimov suspected were of a SATELLITE re-entry.
Quelle: SC

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