SpaceX launches Starshield satellite service for national security
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.