June 18, 2024

Meanwhile, US defense officials say alert in place through May 26 because of the re-entry of a “Russian space launch booster.”

There’s been quite a stir on X as some users speculate that a NOTAM, or aviation notice to airmen, suggests a potential Russian Navy hypersonic missile test off the coast of Southern California.

However, that’s not the case. According to The War Zone, the NOTAM is actually in anticipation of a Russian space booster splashing down in the Pacific. 

Let’s begin with the misguided hype on X about the threats of Russian missile testing off the California coast. These posts collectively have generated more than a million views. 

Russian Navy rocket/gun/missile firing starts this afternoon off the coast of California and Baja until the 26th in International waters. Shouldn’t really affect any flights going to/from Hawaii.


— Thenewarea51 (@thenewarea51) May 16, 2024

🇷🇺🇷🇺🇷🇺Russian Navy will do hypersonic missile test exercise — 40 miles away from California

Apparently exercise/test will last 10 days will end May 26 , 2024

this will be new hypersonic —(Zirconium) SCRAMJET ENGINE testing off coast of California.

Mach : 8 — 12 top speed🇷🇺🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/q2oyR1kKl4

— Fish 🐟𝐙 (@fisherofsea) May 17, 2024

Meanwhile, two US defense officials told TWZ the NOTAM is in place through May 26 because of the re-entry of a “Russian space launch booster.” 

“It is not for a launch or a military exercise,” the officials said, commenting on the social media hype. 

Concerns about the Russians in the Pacific surfaced earlier this week in a NOTAM posted on May 13 advising pilots to avoid a large block of airspace between May 16 and May 26 “for Russian Federation impact area by at least 50 nautical miles.”

“This notice is for all aircraft transiting from Hawaii to North America and North America to Hawaii. The following restrictions are due to the Russian Federation rocket firing impact area,” the NOTAM read, which sparked mass confusion. 

US defense officials weren’t entirely sure which Russian rocket booster would splash down in the Pacific. However, Russian media outlet TASS reported earlier today that a Soyuz-2.1b rocket equipped with satellites launched Friday. 

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