According to a report, the US military raised concerns about the mysterious Russian launch when they found five orbital objects leaving the rocket instead of the four that had previously been agreed. The US Combined Space Operations Centre (CSpOC) said they believe two scenarios could explain the discrepancy – either the rocket’s upper stage broke in two or the Russians had kept part of the launch a secret. The rocket launch, which took place last month from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Western Russia, had a brief that read three new communications satellites would be sent into orbit. The three satellites plus the upper part of the rocket that broke free in the launch would make four parts catapulted into space.

But five orbital bodies were launched instead.

This is especially worrying as Russia has been accused of releasing “inspector satellites” on multiple occasions during other launches.

Also, it is not uncommon for governments to want to put satellites into orbit without foreign competitors finding out about it, according to an in-depth investigation by independent publisher News Rep.

The satellites are belied to be weaponised and could be a serious threat to orbital operations in other countries by destroying rival satellites by pushing them back into the Earth’s atmosphere, experts have warned.

Early this year, US officials warned the United Nations (UN) that unusual activity in space from Russia could be proof the nation is readying a “combat laser system”.

Dr Yleem Poblete, assistant secretary for arms control, verification, and compliance, told the UN the US is concerned by the behaviour of Russia’s ‘space apparatus inspector’ and the power country’s suspicious activity.

Dr Poblete said: “To the United States, these developments are yet further proof that Russian military actions do not match their diplomatic rhetoric.”

She had preciously voiced concerns over the odd behaviour of another Russian launch from October last year, adding it was “inconsistent with anything seen before”.

US President Donald Trump has recently announced plans for a Space Force to police unusual activity in the solar system.