The Russian optical surveillance satellite has only been in space for 20 days. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation hopes that its successor Cosmos-2556 will be more reliable.
The Russian military satellite Cosmos-2555, launched on April 29 by the Angara-1.2 carrier rocket, burned up in the atmosphere. This was reported by TASS with reference to the data of the US Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The device was launched late in the evening from the Plesetsk cosmodrome into a circumpolar orbit. The letter Z was applied to the satellite – a symbol of a full-scale war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. According to NORAD, the satellite deorbited and entered the atmosphere on the morning of May 18. Now the object does not exist in space, experts say.
Astronautics expert and popularizer Vitaly Egorov told The Insider that it could be a visual reconnaissance satellite that conducted optical surveillance.
“Cosmos-2555” burned down – how the satellite lost its trajectory
Yegorov added that on May 18 the satellite did not send radio signals and did not stay in orbit. They wanted to correct its trajectory by turning on the engines, but this did not give results. Cosmos-2555 was able to carry out only one short-term orbital correction for 15 days – on May 6.
After that, its orbit decreased, but in 10–12 days it lost 30 km and dropped to an altitude of about 260 km. In the next three days, the fall of the satellite accelerated, it approached the Earth at a distance of 120 km.
On May 19, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on the successful launch of another satellite into orbit, which was given the name Cosmos-2556. A stable telemetry connection has been established and maintained with the satellite, its on-board systems are functioning normally, military officials said.
Focus previously wrote that the US Space Force tracked the Cosmos-2555 satellite in orbit, tracking data confirmed the “death” of the launched satellite.
Recall that on May 3, the British tabloid Daily Mail wrote about sending a new top-secret radar satellite Cosmos-2555 into orbit, journalists reported on its use during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Space Intelligence previously noted that the Russian Federation launched the third Bars-M optoelectronic reconnaissance satellite into orbit.