SpaceX has announced a new project called “Starshield.” It will be a satellite project “designed for government use,” according to the company’s website.
The satellites will be cashing on the Elon Musk-led company’s existing Starlink broadband internet service constellation to “support national security efforts.” It will be focused on spying on the Earth below as well as hosting any payload that military and government agencies want. This sounds alarming as space now increasingly seems to be militarized.
Essentially, this means that SpaceX has found a permanent position in the US military-industrial complex, building on its long history of launching classified payloads. This paints a pretty appalling picture for the future as Elon Musk has recently proved to be increasingly rightist.
The company claims they’ll feature “additional high-assurance cryptographic capability to host classified payloads and process data securely” to keep the military’s operations tightly under wraps.
Starshield sats will also be able to link to the company’s Starlink communication network, the company says, using “inter-satellite laser communications.”
Until now, 3,200 Starlink sats have been launched into low-Earth orbit and the company has permission from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy over 10,000 more first-generation sats.
By fully establishing itself as a military contractor, SpaceX shows that its motives go beyond the innocent exploration of the Moon and Mars.