Around November 18, 2003 the photoreconnaissance satellite Cosmos-2399, launched on August 12, 2003, released several fragments, which was reported in the press as a satellite breakup. NORAD registered five fragments, which were assigned numbers from 28084 to 28088 (international designations 2003-035C to 2003-035G respectively). Four out of five reported fragments have entered the atmosphere (28084 on November 23, 28085 on November 22, 28087 and 28088 – on November 26 [Update: 28086 decayed on November 30]). In a November 27th press-release the Space Forces denied reports about a breakup and insisted that the spacecraft continues to function normally. The incidents was later reported to be a malfunction during separation of one of the film capsules carried by the spacecraft, which will not affect its future operations.
Earlier this year there were reports about another spacecraft failure. Cosmos-2397 early-warning satellite, launched on April 24, 2003, was reported to develop problems with its engines after several months of operation. The spacecraft performed its last maneuver in June 2003 and since then has been drifting eastward on the geostationary orbit. Cosmos-2397 was the only satellite in the second-generation US-KMO early warning system. While theoretically it is possible that Cosmos-2397, which was at 155°E as November 28, 2003, could still be stabilized in one of the eastern Prognoz points, reserved for satellites of this type (Prognoz-6 at 166°E or Prognoz-7 at 159°W), this is highly unlikely. The loss of Cosmos-2397 has left Russia with only three operational early-warning satellites of the first-generation US-KS system. (See Early warning and defense)