Mysterious Object Lighting Up Sky In Russia's Far East Believed To Be Fregat Upper Stage

Mysterious Object Lighting Up Sky in Russia's Far East Believed to Be Fregat Upper Stage

A bright object spotted flying overhead in Russia's Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), could be a spent Fregat upper stage used in 2009 to launch the Meteor-M observation satellite, Igor Lisov, a Russian expert on astronautics, told Sputnik

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th March, 2021) A bright object spotted flying overhead in Russia's Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), could be a spent Fregat upper stage used in 2009 to launch the Meteor-M observation satellite, Igor Lisov, a Russian expert on astronautics, told Sputnik.

Earlier on Friday, a witness shared a video of the mysterious object flying over the village of Ust-Nera in Yakutia. The video has since made the rounds online, raising questions among internet users.

"Judging by the US Air Force data published on the website space-track.org, this object could well have been the Fregat upper stage, which in 2009 put the Meteor-M satellite into orbit," Lisov said.

According to the expert, the spent upper stage was supposed to enter the earth's atmosphere at about 12.56 p.m. Moscow time (09:56 GMT) not far from the Kuril Islands.

"The village of Ust-Nera is located 64.6 degrees north latitude and 143.2 degrees east longitude, that is, northwest of the point of entry into the atmosphere, with the Fregat flying just along an ascending trajectory, from south to north," Lisov said.

In September 2009, Fregat was used for the launch of six satellites from the Baikonur cosmodrome Russian Meteor-M, Sterkh, Tatiana, UGATusat and Blits, as well as South Africa's SumbandilaSat.