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Chinese scientists plan to blow up Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites after labeling SpaceX a threat, a report says

CHINESE researchers have called for the development of anti-satellite technology as Elon Musk’s Starlink fleet grows.

Defense scientists in China said the nation must be able to protect itself from SpaceX’s Starlink satellites if they pose a threat to national security, The Register reports.

Chinese researchers have called for the development of anti-satellite technology as Elon Musk's Starlink fleet grows

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Chinese researchers have called for the development of anti-satellite technology as Elon Musk’s Starlink fleet growsPhoto credit: John Pisani/thespacecoastlocal.com

In a paper published in Modern Defense Technology last month, Chinese officials emphasized that in order to achieve this, China must develop anti-satellite capabilities.

The defense system should be able to disable or destroy Starlink satellites and must have a surveillance tool that can track and monitor them.

Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, led the study along with several senior scientists from China’s defense industry.

“A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be used to cause some Starlink satellites to lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system,” the study authors write.

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When Elon Musk founded Starlink in 2014, the project had ambitions to bring reliable internet service to remote countries.

However, SpaceX has since signed a deal with the US Department of Defense to develop new technology based on the Starlink platform.

Part of SpaceX’s joint mission with the US government includes building instruments that can detect and track hypersonic weapons in Earth’s atmosphere, according to the South China Morning Post.

This, as well as the ability of the Starlink satellites to change orbit rapidly – in an offensive move – is of concern to Chinese military officials.

Additionally, it could be possible to discreetly launch US military payloads amidst a fleet of Starlinks satellites, Ren said.

Ren claimed that China has already developed numerous ground-based laser imaging devices capable of photographing orbiting satellites.

However, the nation must also be able to intercept signals from each Starlink satellite to detect potential threats.

There are currently more than 2,300 Starlink satellites in low orbit around the Earth.

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“The Starlink constellation represents a decentralized system,” the researchers said.

“The confrontation isn’t about individual satellites, it’s about the whole system. That requires some inexpensive, highly efficient measures.”

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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5418186/chinese-scientists-plan-spacex-starlink/ Chinese scientists plan to blow up Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites after labeling SpaceX a threat, a report says

Chris Barrese

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