Space: Russia Hangs By a Thread

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May 13, 2006: On May 3rd, Russia launched a Kobalt-M spy satellite into orbit. Just in time, as their only operational spy satellite (a naval reconnaissance bird) had died last month. Next month, Russia will launch a electronic recon satellite, and another naval recon satellite. Russia has dozens of military satellites in orbit, but they are all for communications, or everything but photo and electronic reconnaissance. Russia is still using a lot of birds designed with Soviet (Cold War era) technology. This is changing, as a new generation of birds, built more to Western standards, are going up. If oil prices stay high, Russia expects to have a military satellite fleet that will match that of the United States.

 


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