MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russian reconnaissance satellite Kosmos-2495 re-entered the atmosphere and crashed last week, a spokesman for the US Strategic Command told RIA Novosti on Friday.
"US Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space [JFCC Space] through the Joint Space Operations Center [JSpOC] assesses with high confidence that Kosmos-2495 re-entered the atmosphere and was removed from the US satellite catalog as a decayed object on September 3," the spokesman said.
The Russian Defense Ministry previously denied media reports of a Russian military satellite allegedly exploding over the territory of the United States.
On September 3, the American Meteor Society published more than 30 reports from alleged eyewitnesses who claimed to observe a big fireball streaking across the sky. The spaceflight101.com website, dedicated to covering spaceflight events with special focus on the technical aspects of space flight, suggested it could have been Kosmos-2495.
Kosmos-2495 was launched on May 6, 2014. It is also known as reconnaissance satellite Kobalt-M, an operational member of the Yantar series of Russian satellites. It weighs 6.6 tons, operates on a low Earth orbit and is equipped with a film camera.
JFCC Space is responsible for integrated space operations in order to support national and military objectives.
JSpOC tracks more than 17,000 objects in space, providing information on space objects and debris to satellite owners and operators.