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Russia launches military satellite

Russia yesterday used its Soyuz-2 rocket to launch a military satellite believed intended as an “inspector” satellite, designed to get close to and track another American military reconnaissance satellite.

While no details about this payload are known, there is a suspicion that this payload might have been launched to match the trajectory and flight path of an American satellite, USA-326. This was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 last February on the NROL-87 mission and went into a 512 km altitude, 97.4° inclination orbit. It is speculated to be an experimental optical reconnaissance satellite.

The launch comes after a new object was tracked just a week ago from the USA 326 spy satellite. It was designated object 53315 and cataloged in a 348 x 388 km orbit.

…The USA-326 satellite phased over the launch site just as the Soyuz-2.1v rocket launched. This also matches the northerly direction NOTAM that was announced before the Soyuz launch. What is possible is that the Kosmos-2558 payload is an inspector satellite that will be used to monitor the appearance and behavior of USA-326 and/or object 53315.

The Soyuz-2 rocket itself was a rarely used variation of this rocket, using no side boosters.

The leaders in the 2022 launch race:

33 SpaceX
26 China
10 Russia
5 Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab tried three times yesterday to also launch, but high winds eventually forced it to scrub the launch, rescheduling for tomorrow.

American private enterprise still leads China 46 to 26 in the national rankings, and the entire globe combined 46 to 43.

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.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. All editions can also be purchased direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • sippin_bourbon

    Hold up..

    For this re-scheduled Rocket Lab launch, I noticed that the rocket has a red band. I had to hunt and peck through the replay to find it.

    Basically, this is a “recoverable ready” rocket, but they won’t be attempting this based on the customer (NRO) requirement.


  • sipp_bourbon: The announcer mentioned this during last night’s live stream. The company has now incorporated its reuse components into every 1st stage assembly. Thus, it could attempt to recover this stage.

    However, the NRO as the customer has requested they do not.

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