Russia says foreign power may have caused spy satellite loss

Feb 14, 2011
NASA image of the planet Earth. The Russian space agency suggested Monday that a foreign power may have been behind the space accident that disabled one of the country's most modern military satellites earlier this month.

The Russian space agency suggested Monday that a foreign power may have been behind the space accident that disabled one of the country's most modern military satellites earlier this month.

Russia on February 1 launched a high-tech Geo-IK-2 craft to help the military draw a three-dimensional map of the Earth and locate the precise positions of various targets.

News reports said the satellite was a vital part of Russia's effort to match the United States and NATO's ability to target its missiles from space.

But the craft briefly went missing after its launch only to re-emerge in a wrong orbit that left the craft unable to complete its assigned task.

The Russian military and space agency set up a joint task force to probe the accident but it has presented no official results thus far.

One unnamed space official told Interfax however that initial evidence suggested that the craft went off target after one of its booster rockets inexplicably reversed course.

"The probable cause may involve electromagnetic intrusion on the automatic controls," the unnamed space official said.

The official did not identify the country he suspected of trying to derail the Russian military mission. But Moscow frequently accuses Washington of attempting to "militarise" space.

The space official conceded that there may have been other reasons for the launch failure. These included the wrong operations being programmed into the guidance system and other software mistakes.

But the Russian source stressed that the accident occurred between the first and second burns of the Briz-KM upper-stage -- an area in which the craft makes no contact with ground control.

The official suggested that the may have been aimed at the Russian craft "from a land, sea, air or space vehicle."

The Geo-IK-2 mishap came less than five weeks after President Dmitry Medvedev fired two top space officials for a launch failure caused Russia to delay the deployment of its own navigation system.

Investigators said that accident was caused by a basic fuel miscalculation that made the craft too heavy to reach its required height.

The three Glonass satellites would have completed a system whose research had been started by the Soviet Union in 1976.

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gmurphy
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2011
Given the way the Russians build nuclear power plants and submarines, I don't think there's any need to invoke the specter of meddling foreign powers to explain the failure. This is pretty lame propaganda.
Chase_O_
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2011
Exactly, and which government do they think has this Star Trek-esk electromagnetic pulse tool that can change the rocket's pre-programmed course?
PS3
1 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2011
Laser would just need to burn a small hole on the right spot to make any rocket go off course.

you guys see Fedor get beatdown on sat?..haha
Skepticus
not rated yet Feb 15, 2011
Consider recent Washington's and Tel Aviv's comments with glee over the effects of Stuxnet, all the dirty tricks in the book and then some is par for the course, as long as nobody can conclusively proves it's your wrench!
Justsayin
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2011
The simplest answer is usually the right one and I think the Russians just screwed up and want to stir cold war animosity.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2011
and I think the Russians just screwed up and want to stir cold war animosity.
Why should they want to? Perhaps you just want to revive your cold war perception?
Justsayin
not rated yet Feb 17, 2011
Why should they want to? Perhaps you just want to revive your cold war perception?

It seems you have not noticed that Medvedev and Putin are acting like they are still in the cold war by opposing the U.S. on the same fronts that the old defunct Soviet Union did...read a book.
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2011
read a book.
A Russian book?
rgwalther
not rated yet Feb 18, 2011
Alien or terrestrial 'foreign' power? If the vehicle did 'disappear' from one trajectory and show up in another, then...?
Of course if 'there was a funny light in the sky', then it couda only been aliens.
Justsayin
not rated yet Feb 18, 2011
frajo, it does not matter which book you read. Russian or U.S. it should tell the same story like Russia working against U.S. interests in Venezuela, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Nicaragua and others.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2011
and I think the Russians just screwed up and want to stir cold war animosity.
Why should they want to? Perhaps you just want to revive your cold war perception?
They need to justify continued vital military spending like anybody else, which is especially difficult in these uncertain financial times, and need credible enemies to do this. Its remotely possible that they screwed it up themselves for this purpose.

People who provide funding for mil projects rarely can appreciate the reality of future threats. So current threats may be manufactured in order to persuade them.