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Space Force encounters first adversary: a pair of suspicious Russian spacecraft

The two spacecraft are tailing an American spy satellite.
Credit: AP

ARLINGTON, Va. — A multibillion-dollar game of cat and mouse is playing out hundreds of miles above our heads. It’s been going on for months, and it threatens to create “a dangerous situation in space.”

The newly-minted U.S. Space Force finds itself on the front line of an orbital competition between the United States and Russia, as two Russian satellites shadow an American spy satellite that provides critical information to our forces on the ground.

“We view this behavior as unusual and disturbing,” Space Force commander Gen. John Raymond told TIME Magazine.

Time reports the Russian spacecraft was launched in November into orbit and began maneuvering toward the American satellite, coming within 100 miles of it.

In a statement to Fox Business, Raymond said: “Russia is developing on-orbit capabilities that seek to exploit U.S. reliance on space-based systems.”

Credit: AP
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Gen. Jay Raymond, after signing the letter of his appointment as the chief of space operations for U.S. Space Command during a signing ceremony for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This – and potential threats from other country’s to American dominance outside the atmosphere – has been precisely the declared reason why Space Force was created as the newest branch of the U.S. military.

Raymond told CNN Russia is one of several nations which “have turned space into a warfighting domain.”

According to TIME, President Trump requested $15 billion this week in his budget proposal for Space Force operations.

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