SpaceX reveals its secret “Starshield” network to support the US military

Elon Musk’s SpaceX unveils secret ‘Starshield’ variation of its Starlink satellites designed to support the US military

  • Musk has quietly revealed an ambitious commercial project called Starshield
  • SpaceX claims that the project will be dedicated to supporting the national security of the United States
  • It will initially focus on hosted payloads, Earth observation and communications

SpaceX has quietly revealed a secret satellite project called “Starshield” that will “support national security” in the United States.

Elon Musk’s company has added a new page to its website that outlines the project, which will create a network of satellites for US government entities.

It says the Starshield Network will focus on hosted payloads, Earth observation and communications, which could include signals intelligence or secure internet.

“Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts,” says SpaceX.

Image from the Starshield page on the SpaceX website. The new project will support national security efforts

What is starshield?

Starshield is a new project from SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space company.

On the company’s website, SpaceX says Starshield “will leverage Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts.”

It will focus on three areas – Earth Observation, Communications and Hosted Payloads.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX that provides global access coverage to satellite internet.

SpaceX has so far launched more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into space, though Musk eventually wants to raise that number to more than 40,000.

SpaceX explains that “while Starlink is designed for commercial and consumer use, Starshield is designed for government use.”

SpaceX also suggests that Starshield will offer encryption – a secure connection in the presence of malicious third parties – when providing the Internet to the US government.

“Starshield utilizes additional high assurance encryption capability to securely host classified payloads and process data, meeting the most demanding government requirements,” the report says.

Starshield will also include a system of lasers that will route data between the individual satellites in the constellation.

“Starlink’s intersatellite laser communication station, the only large-scale operational communications laser in orbit today, can be integrated into partner satellites to enable integration into the Starshield network,” the company adds.

Starshield will also include a system of lasers that will route data between the individual satellites in the constellation

Starshield will also include a system of lasers that will route data between the individual satellites in the constellation

SpaceX has so far launched more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into space, though Musk eventually wants to raise that number to more than 40,000.

SpaceX has so far launched more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into space, though Musk eventually wants to raise that number to more than 40,000.

There is a paucity of other specific details about the project. MailOnline has reached out to SpaceX for more information.

According to Gunter’s Space Page, two Starshield launches have already been launched, both of which were carried out this year, though they were potential tests.

Meanwhile, Michael Baylor, a Cupertino-based software engineer who tracks missile launches, speculated that Starshield’s Earth observation capabilities could provide images of any location on Earth.

“You can imagine a world where the Pentagon says it wants a picture of a particular place on Earth, and they get that picture in less than a minute, or even near-constant real-time monitoring of a location.” chirp.

Elon Musk is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX.  He also owns Tesla and Twitter, among other companies

Elon Musk is the founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX. He also owns Tesla and Twitter, among other companies

SpaceX’s Starlink constellation has sparked controversy over the amount of satellites it sends into space, many of which are no longer operational.

Starlink’s most recent launch on October 28th from California sent another 53 satellites into orbit aboard a rocket.

A total of 3,236 satellites are now in operation, but Musk hopes eventually to have as many as 42,000 satellites in his so-called “massive solar system.”

Last week, British ministers announced that Starlink would soon connect some of the most isolated parts of the British countryside, including a 12th-century abbey in North Yorkshire.

Britain’s most isolated customers will get up to ten times faster broadband speeds thanks to Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites

Ministers have announced that Elon Musk is determined to help connect the most isolated parts of the British countryside using broadband broadcast from space.

Dozens of sites in extreme locations – where it’s difficult to upgrade with expensive physical cabling – will benefit from broadband speeds up to ten times faster.

Satellites from billionaire service Starlink will provide high-speed Wi-Fi to a 12th-century monastery in the North York Moors, a Scout camp in Snowdonia and mountain rescue teams in the Lake District.

After the trial, the government will look into using the technology to connect UK country homes and businesses.

Digital Minister Michelle Donnellan said: “High-speed broadband broadcasting back to Earth from space could be the answer to the connectivity issues experienced by people in buildings caught in the digital slow lane.

Ensuring everyone has access to a high-quality internet connection is critical to our upgrade plans and these trials aim to find a solution to the prohibitive cost of getting cable out to remote locations.

Billionaire Musk will provide the equipment to the sites through his Starlink satellite internet service, though other providers are being considered for a future rollout.

Satellites, which are placed 340 to 620 miles above the Earth’s surface, are often used to provide Wi-Fi in hostile locations with limited infrastructure.

Tests show that it can deliver speeds of up to 200 megabits per second – much higher than what copper cables, which are typically used to access such areas, can achieve.

The trial will examine how bringing in high-speed broadband will improve services in the one per cent of UK sites where expensive physical cable is too difficult to upgrade.

Among them is Rievaulx Abbey, founded in 1132, in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, where visitors will be able to improve connectivity to access educational content.

Another is Wasdale Head in the Lake District, a ‘black spot’ area where mountain rescuers will experience how the new service will help them find people and connect in difficult areas.

Snowdonia National Park will also have two connected sites, including the Crafnant Valley Scout camp where it is hoped to improve safety for rangers traversing the 25-acre site.

Other sites have been identified across the UK, and discussions are underway for more trial sites, including on small islands across England, Scotland and Wales.

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