Russian geosynchronous spy satellite making close-up inspections of other commercial satellites

A second Russian “inspector” spy satellite in geosynchronous orbit is being directed to move relatively close to other commercial satellites, close enough to obtain high resolution images.

According to data gathered by California startup Slingshot Aerospace, the satellite known as Luch-5X or Olymp-K-2 [Norad ID 5584] began moving east to west shortly after its launch on March 12 — in what company officials told Breaking Defense on Oct. 6 shows a “pattern of life” that includes making stops nearby non-Russian satellites.

So far it the closest it has gotten to another satellite is about 10 miles, just far enough away so as to avoid triggering any collision concerns but close enough that good cameras will see fine details. It is believed the satellite so far under surveillance is a communications satellite from Eutelsat that covers Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, suggesting a link to the wars in the Ukraine and Gaza.