May 28, 2023


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SpaceX, Elon Musk |  Chinese researchers:

SpaceX, Elon Musk | Chinese researchers:

A Chinese research report written by military-linked scientists concluded that the country should have the ability and expertise to destroy or deactivate Space X’s Starlink satellites if they threaten national security.

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Starlink satellites are intended to provide Internet coverage in the most remote places on the planet. Insider wrote that satellites are the most ambitious communications project ever. Musk’s ambition is 42,000 satellites launched.

Military affiliated researchers

But Chinese researchers are skeptical about the power it can provide and fear that it could threaten China’s security.

“A combination of light and hard kill methods must be used to cause some of the Starlink satellites to lose functionality and destroy the operating system,” the report stated.

A “hard kill” weapon means to physically destroy it, while with a “soft kill” weapon you take other actions to bring it out of play, without directly physically destroying it.

The report was reviewed and published in the Chinese magazine called “Modern Defense Technology,” writes Insider.

The study’s principal investigator, Ren Yuanzhen, is a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunication Technology. Several of the co-authors are senior researchers in the Chinese defense industry, the paper writes.

The authors have links to the Chinese military and defense industry, but it is unclear whether their view represents an official position.

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SpaceX link in the US

SpaceX has one Contact with the US ArmyThis may be one of the reasons why Chinese scientists are concerned about the potential of the Musk satellite.

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The US Department of Defense entered into an agreement with SpaceX to use Starlink platforms for military purposes, and was also impressed by how useful Starlink was to obtaining information about the war in Ukraine.

With Starlink, Musk can almost guarantee coverage in places where it previously proved very difficult to get a signal, he wrote.

What we’re seeing with Elon Musk and Starlink’s ability shows us what mega-turrets can offer us in terms of redundancy and capacity, said General James H. Dickinson in Space Defense.

The lead author of the Chinese report estimated that US drones and stealth aircraft could significantly increase the country’s current data rate if they had Starlink coverage.

This isn’t the first time that security around SpaceX’s satellites has been a problem for China.

At the end of 2021 China has complained about SpaceX to the United Nations. The state claimed that the Musk satellites were dangerously close to the Chinese space station Tiangong.

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