Mysterious Russian satellite Cosmos-2499 disintegrated into dozens of pieces that continue to orbit
At the end of December 2013, a Rokot rocket put three satellites into orbit, but six months later it turned out that there were actually four. The last one went to pieces early last month.
Here's What We Know
The US has speculated that the fourth spacecraft, called Cosmos-2499, belonged to the Russian military. The Americans believed it was used to spy on and test technology to destroy other satellites. In late 2014, the Russians said the spacecraft had been used in research by scientists.
#18SDS has confirmed the breakup of COSMOS 2499 (#39765, 2014-028E) - occurred Jan 4, 2023 at appx 0357 UTC. Tracking 85 associated pieces at est 1169 km altitude - analysis ongoing. #spacedebris #space @SpaceTrackOrg @US_SpaceCom @ussfspoc- 18th Space Defense Squadron (@18thSDS) February 7, 2023
Nine years after launch, Cosmos 2499 has become space junk. The 18th United States Space Defense Squadron, which tracks satellites, said the spacecraft shattered into dozens of pieces on Jan. 4, 2023. The service is now tracking about 85 objects at an altitude of 1,169 kilometres above Earth. The cause of the spacecraft's collapse was not specified.