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Americans may have planned satellite collision, says Russian general

A former head of Russia's military space intelligence has suggested that the America may have planned for the collision between the American and Russian satellites in order to prove it can manipulate hostile satellites.

First, there was the Cold War. Now, perhaps, there's the Cold Space War.

Retired Major General Leonid Shershnev, the former head of Russia's military space intelligence, thinks the recent collision between an Iridium satellite from the US and an out-of-service Russian Cosmos 2251 may have been a set-up.

I can barely understand traffic, so I will make an extra effort to summarize the Major-General's suspicions.

He seems to believe that the Iridium satellite was part of a project called "Orbital Express." This project, which was officially completed in 2007, was to see if on-board refueling and satellite reconfiguration was possible by autonomous, robotic means.

Nyet, says the Major-General.

These, apparently, are flares from an Iridium sattelite. They seem perfectly friendly to me. CC Mulad

He was quoted by the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper as saying that the project did not end. In fact, this Iridium satellite was being used to "develop technology that would allow monitoring and inspections of orbital spacecraft by fully-automated satellites equipped with robotic devices."

Aha, he declared- this was the Americans showing that they can robotically eliminate a foreign satellite.

The Major-General is, no doubt, an intimidating figure. If I disputed his imputations I might suffer an amputation.

So I will limit myself to the most important question- how will this affect the design of future war-themed computer games?