Russia Says It’s No Problem Tracking America’s Space Plane

X-37B easy to spot

Russia Says It’s No Problem Tracking America’s Space Plane Russia Says It’s No Problem Tracking America’s Space Plane
Russian army general Anatoly Nestechuk told radio station RSN that his troops have no difficulty keeping track of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B... Russia Says It’s No Problem Tracking America’s Space Plane

Russian army general Anatoly Nestechuk told radio station RSN that his troops have no difficulty keeping track of the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B robotic space plane during its yearlong missions in low orbit. “It is for us the easiest task to look for the X-37B,” Nestechuk said. “It is so big that if it is to turn left or right, we have already noted its every move.”

To be fair, every spacecraft in low orbit is easy to track for anyone with a decent telescope. Russia maintains an extensive network of ground-based sensors — telescopes, radars and infrared detectors — that can keep tabs on most satellites. Though in fact, Russia’s space surveillance system isn’t nearly as extensive as America’s is, and there are probably gaps in Russian coverage.

The X-37B — the Air Force has two of the drone mini-shuttles — launched for the first time in 2010. Amateur astronomers videotaped the X-37B in orbit in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

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