RUSSIA - Satellite Killer Tested

Arno Froese

Direct-ascent weapons arguably are the least sophisticated anti-satellite weapons. Essentially just medium-weight rockets, like the kind space agencies use to boost small payloads into low-Earth orbit, DA-ASATs are cheap to develop and easy to use but only can threaten low-flying spacecraft.

China, the United States and India in the last decade or so also have tested DA-ASAT weapons. The Chinese and Indian tests in particular scattered thousands of pieces of metal debris, any one of which could pose a risk to a satellite or even the International Space Station. 

Russia also possesses more-sophisticated orbital weapons, Space Command noted. So-called “inspection satellites,” ostensibly designed to check other spacecraft for damage, also could tamper with, hijack or destroy another country’s satellites.

Cosmos-2542’s original orbit allowed it pass within a couple hundred miles of USA-245 U.S. KH-11 spy satellite every 11 or 12 days, according to Michael Thompson, an American graduate student who moonlights with a small space company and, in his spare time, tracks satellites.

In mid-January, Cosmos-2542 passed close to the spy satellite—and made its move. Instead of drifting away like it usually did, Cosmos-2542 performed a series of maneuvers and essentially matched orbits with USA-245.

Cosmos-2542, in other words, was following USA-245. In the event of war, the Russian satellite would be in a perfect position quickly to attack the American sat. Most spacecraft lack effective defensive systems. 

-nationalinterest.org, 16 April 2020

Arno's commentary

Space seems to be the new battleground. One nation outdoes the other, and the race continues unabated. Each nation accuses others of violating certain agreements. Yet all desperately try to find the super weapon that would render the enemy’s weapon ineffective.

What’s this all about from a Biblical perspective? We may simplify it by pointing to the first murder, when Cain killed his brother Abel. From that point on, war has not ceased. The prophet Joel writes about the Gentile nations: “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel 3:9-10).

Behind all these activities is the prince of darkness, the god of this world, who stands in opposition to Jerusalem and Israel. The first two verses are applicable for our days: “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:1-2). No nation is exempt; all are parting the land of Israel.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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