A Russian satellite seems to be tailing a US spy satellite in Earth orbit

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A Russian satellite has positioned itself uncomfortably close to an American spy satellite in orbit around Earth, leading space trackers to speculate that the foreign vehicle is doing some spying of its own.

The Russian spacecraft is meant to inspect other satellites, and experts in the space community believe it may now be keeping a watchful eye on the secretive US vehicle. But the motivation behind this in-space stalking is still unknown.

All January, amateur satellite trackers have been keeping tabs on the weird behavior of this Russian probe, known as Kosmos 2542. Launched in November of last year, Kosmos 2542 has been orbiting in the same plane as a satellite operated by the National Reconnaissance Office called USA 245, which has…

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