Russia Has Threatened To Attack Starlink Satellites

The Russian government has issued renewed threats against SpaceX’s Starlink network following reports that the company is constructing hundreds of spy satellites for the US government. Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, expressed concerns during a briefing, citing efforts by Washington to involve the private sector in its military space endeavors.

This reaction was prompted by Reuters’ investigation, which revealed that SpaceX is developing a spy satellite network for the US National Reconnaissance Office under its Starshield program, utilizing Starlink technology for national security purposes. The project, awarded to SpaceX through a $1.8 billion contract, involves the deployment of low-Earth orbit satellites capable of ground target tracking.

While the timeline for the launch of these spy satellites remains uncertain, the news has already stirred unease in China. Responding to inquiries from Reuters, Zakharova suggested that the US’s militarization of a commercial satellite network could warrant retaliatory measures, including military action. She highlighted the increasing utilization of commercial systems like Starlink by the US and its allies for intelligence and military purposes.

In 2022, Kremlin officials hinted at possible retaliation against SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet system for supplying broadband to Ukraine during its conflict with Russia, marking a previous instance of Russia’s hostility towards Starlink.

Furthermore, recent confirmation from the White House regarding Russia’s advancement in anti-satellite weaponry has intensified tensions. Although specifics about the weapon are still murky, Russia’s 2021 missile launch targeted a defunct satellite, generating debris that endangered satellites such as Starlink, prompting maneuvers to evade collisions.

The situation underscores the growing intersection of technology, national security, and geopolitical tensions, with commercial space ventures becoming entangled in broader strategic rivalries between nations.

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