SpaceX launches Starshield satellite service for national security

SpaceX launches Starshield satellite service for national security
Starlink satellites before deployment
Starlink satellites before deployment
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Starlink satellites before deployment
Starlink satellites before deployment

With its Starlink satellite-based internet now up and running in many corners of the globe, SpaceX is introducing a dedicated arm for national security applications. Called Starshield, the service is intended for use by governments, which will be able to tap into the company’s know-how in the area to bolster their military operations.

SpaceX’s constellation of Starlink satellites consists of thousands of spacecraft in orbit around the globe, beaming internet down that now touches all seven continents. Where this service is designed for consumers and commercial applications, the Starshield variant is instead being purely offered for government use.

The company says Starshield satellites will be focused on Earth observations, carrying customer payloads and facilitating communications, with SpaceX promising a higher degree of data encryption than standard Starlink services in order to protect classified communications and payloads.

SpaceX says a modular design will enable Starshield satellites to be kitted out with a range of customer payloads, while it will leverage the same laser links used aboard Starlink satellites to reduce the need for communications terminals on the ground.

Beyond that, there’s not a whole lot of detail available on the newly revealed service, though SpaceX does point to its history of rapid launches and existing partnerships with the US Department of Defense as reasons why other governments may want to hop on board.

Source: SpaceX

Joy Parr
So this is what, handing our national defences over to Elon Musk to run?
I'm no expert but it seems to me that our armed forces ought to be doing that _entirely themselves,_ under the control only of our legitimate governments.
Joy Parr; National security involving high tech ultimately depends on private industry anyway-the armed forces farm out this kind of stuff to the people paid to develop cutting edge tech. Think of Kelly Johnson's outfit (Lockheed) which gave us the U2,SR-71 and others.
Bob Flint
This is the hardware side of business, Twitter is the software side, and the government wants to know all....
Late Boomer
All well and good, but Elon's erratic behavior screams "Security Risk!" Few have ever gone off the rails quite so spectacularly.
Purely military (not profit-driven) projects don't have all that great of a record. I think the list of white elephants and projects unfinished before obsolescence is sadly long. Private industry can develop projects, and the military experts can check for flaws. If the military experts aren't smart enough to find flaws (ie. A switch marked "Give total control to Musk.", they're not smart enough to develop a reliable system on their own.
It seems like he told the world he was rolling out cheap internet access globally but so far has been hawking it to armies and govt actors who america backs. The EU should designate it a security threat.