A Russian Soyuz rocket launched a top-secret military satellite designed to scope out other satellites in space on Monday (Nov. 25), according to government reports.
The Soyuz-2.1v launch vehicle brought the satellite into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, which is roughly 500 miles or 800 kilometers north of Moscow, for the Russian Defense Ministry, the ministry said in a statement. The launch took place at 12:52 p.m. EST (1752 GMT or 8:52 p.m. local time).
“The spacecraft … is launched into the target orbit from which the state of domestic satellites can be monitored,” the ministry added. “The optical equipment of the spacecraft also allows you to take pictures of the Earth’s surface.”