What the hell?! Chinese military researchers are concerned about the potential threat posed by Space X’s Starlink satellites and have urged the country to develop ways to destroy or disable them. The news comes shortly after CEO Elon Musk was threatened by the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos over Starlink terminals being sent to help Ukraine.
PCMag reports that China’s Modern Defense Technology magazine published an article last month warning of the potential dangers posed by Starlink satellites. The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher at the Beijing Telecommunications and Monitoring Institute under the PLA Strategic Support Force, and was co-authored by several senior scientists in China’s defense industry, the SCMP writes.
“Weather [Starlink] is on the rise and also due to its enormous potential for comprehensive application, it has brought hidden dangers and challenges to our country”, reads the document. the constellation operating system”.
Some of the possible military applications of Starlink suggested by the researchers include allowing drones and stealth fighter jets to increase their data transmission speeds by more than 100 times. The satellites could also offer online connectivity to troops in the field, take out high-value targets in space using their ion thrusters, and carry military payloads, according to the document.
SpaceX has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense to develop instruments that can detect and track hypersonic weapons, another thing that worries China.
Ren says that China needs to adapt its military strategies to counter Starlink satellites. He is already working on microwaves that can jam satellite communications or burn components, and lasers to damage or blind them. Ren ruled out the use of missiles given the debris this method would produce and the number of Starlink satellites: more than 2,000 at the moment, with plans to expand to more than 30,000.
China has launched its own equivalent of Starlink, called Xing Wang, or StarNet, to provide Internet access in remote locations.
In December, China complained to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs over claims that a Starlink satellite nearly hit its space station.
After SpaceX chief Elon Musk was threatened by Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, over Starlink terminals sent to help Ukraine, the world’s richest man tweeted: “If I die under mysterious circumstances, It was a pleasure meeting you.”