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A mysterious Russian spacecraft makes more maneuvers

A mysterious Russian satellite, Kosmos-2499, originally thought to be space junk, has not only performed some additional maneuvers, it has begun transmitting its telemetry to Earth using Morse code!

Though the spacecraft is thought to be very small, it has managed to make some very impressive maneuvers.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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  • James Fincannon

    Checking their results using Satellite Tool Kit and orbital elements from, I determined that the two spacecraft were as close as 0.256 km on Nov 25/09:34 UTC. But it didn’t seem to spend “most” of that day between 0.5 km and 1km. It was more like half the day below 1 km, but the range was from 0.25km to 2.5 km for the day (1 km average). And the distance varied through the ~13 orbits, but less a function of the “maneuvering” and more a function of the orbits of the two vehicles.

    After Nov 25 and prior to Nov 29, the distance drifted to 16 km. On Nov 29, I determined it to get as close as ~3 km, but nothing like what they said…
    “After several days of orbiting the Earth at an average altitude from 20 to 30 meters below Briz-KM, Kosmos-2499 climbed few dozen of meters above the stage on November 29, 2014, estimates showed.”.

    Not sure where they are getting their orbital elements from. From the orbital elements, it appears to lowered its perigee from starting July 28 (1457 km) to Aug 21 (939 km) in five maneuvers, then raised it Oct 28 to 1082 km and Nov 8 to 1171 km.

  • Does your analysis tell you anything about the satellite itself? Is it doing anything particularly special?

  • James Fincannon

    If you are asking whether I can deduce its purpose, no. Likely surveillance, I bet. Its hard to match orbits of a satellite. You need to match alot of parameters (apogee height, perigee height, inclination, etc). That’s the reason they are using the rocket body they launched it with originally as the target…. its already relatively similar.

    Our tracking network is reporting alot of orbital elements of the objects (about 2 per day). These elements do have some built in error, but likely not >1km.

    But it does seem to be firing rockets. Some people thought it was ion propulsion, but looking at the change in perigee over a short time periods suggests regular rocket thrusters, not the slow changes in altitude you would get from ion engines. It lowered perigee five times (five events) from July 28 to Aug 21 starting at 1464 km taking it down to 940 km in increments of altitude each time. Then it raised perigee twice from Oct 27 to Nov 11 from 958 km to 1169 km (the perigee of the Rocket body).

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