The spy satellite Kosmos-2555, launched on April 29, was supposed to make orbital maneuvers, but this did not happen and on May 18 it burned up in the atmosphere.
The Russian military spy satellite Kosmos-2555 de-orbited on May 18 and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere after an uncontrolled fall.
This was reported by the North American Aerospace Defense Command ( NORAD ).
The Kosmos-2555 satellite was launched into orbit on April 29 from the Plesetsk cosmodrome using the Angara-1.2 light launch vehicle. The symbol Z was painted on the body of the rocket in the form of a St. George ribbon. Note that this is the second launch of a carrier rocket of this family. The first test launch was made in July 2014.
A few hours later, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the satellite had allegedly been successfully launched into the target orbit. However, independent observers noted that the satellite is not transmitting radio signals and is not kept in orbit, theins.ru writes . Roskosmos tried to correct its trajectory, but to no avail.
“Kosmos-2555” was supposed to make orbital maneuvers, but this did not happen and on May 18 it “returned” to Earth, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell said .
The information was also confirmed on Facebook by Russian aerospace industry expert Vitaly Egorov .
“Yesterday, the Russian military satellite Kosmos-2555 fell. Just two and a half weeks ago, it was launched by a light Angara with the letter Z on the fairing, and now it made a successful entry into the atmosphere,” Yegorov wrote.
According to him, earlier a similar situation occurred with the related satellite Kosmos-2551, launched on another launch vehicle.
And in January 2022, the Perseus upper stage of the heavy Angara rocket failed to fire and burned up in the atmosphere with a 20-ton military satellite mock-up as a payload.
“All these cases have one thing in common: they were launched in the interests of the Ministry of Defense, which means they were secret, and Roscosmos did not recognize emergency situations and continues to consider the launches successful,” Yegorov said.