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Pentagon Reports: Russia Likely Deployed Counter-Space Weapon into Low Earth Orbit

Russia appears to have placed a weapon in low Earth orbit last week, according to the Pentagon, which also happens to be in the same orbit as a government satellite from the United States. A Pentagon spokesman, Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, verified this development on Tuesday, citing information provided by Robert Wood, the deputy U.S. ambassador to the UN.

According to Ryder, the Russian satellite that was launched on May 16 might be able to target other satellites in low Earth orbit, which might make it useful as a counterspace weapon. The patterns seen in the counter-space payload deployments in 2019 and 2022 are consistent with this deployment.

In order to guarantee continued assistance for joint and combined forces, Ryder emphasized the Pentagon’s commitment to closely monitoring the situation and the significance of protecting and defending the space domain. He did not, however, make it apparent whether the Russian weapon directly endangers the American satellite.

When discussing advance notifications for space launches, Ryder refrained from addressing whether the U.S. had previous knowledge of the particular counter-space weapon contained in the Russian launch.

Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, rejected the Pentagon’s remarks as a data leak. With the successful launch of a spacecraft meant to strengthen defense capabilities, he declared with confidence that the Russian space program is moving along as planned. These remarks were made by Ryabkov on Wednesday at a press conference in Moscow.

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