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Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeTechnologySpaceX secures inaugural contract for Starshield satellite internet venture, prioritizing defense.

SpaceX secures inaugural contract for Starshield satellite internet venture, prioritizing defense.

SpaceX has secured its first contract for Starshield, a defense-focused version of its Starlink satellite internet service. The contract, awarded by the U.S. Space Force, has a maximum value of $70 million and covers end-to-end services, including user terminals, ancillary equipment, and network management. SpaceX will receive $15 million by the end of this month and is expected to support over 50 mission partners across all branches of the U.S. military. Starlink’s role in Ukraine during Russia’s invasion was controversial, with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk initially supporting sending terminals but later refusing to activate the service for a planned attack on Russia’s navy.

Starshield, announced in December, aims to provide clarity on using commercial services in war operations. The service is owned by the U.S. government and controlled by the DoD Space Force. Musk emphasized the separation between Starlink as a civilian network and Starshield as a participant in combat, stating that this division is “the right order of things.” The U.S. Space Force is interested in expanding its satellite internet capacities and finds Starlink appealing due to its resilient architecture with a large number of satellites in low Earth orbit, making it less vulnerable to adversary attacks.

In conclusion, SpaceX has secured a $70 million contract with the U.S. Space Force for its defense-focused Starshield version of the Starlink satellite internet service. The contract covers various services and equipment and will support multiple military partners. Starlink’s involvement in Ukraine during Russia’s invasion has sparked controversy, with Elon Musk initially supporting its use but later denying activation for a planned attack. Starshield aims to clarify the use of commercial services in war, with Musk highlighting the importance of separating civilian and defense networks. The U.S. Space Force is attracted to Starlink’s resilient architecture, which features numerous satellites in low Earth orbit, making it more resistant to enemy attacks.

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