Is China planning to block Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites?

by admin, Thursday, 2 June 2022 (2 months ago)

China and the United States are still fighting a major “war” that many do not talk about. This “war” is now happening mainly in the fields of trade and technology. China and the United States have had serious trade issues that they are still struggling to address. In terms of technology, many Chinese companies can be involved in the construction of US 5G. In fact, the US has blacklisted many Chinese companies, with Huawei and ZTE being the most notable. In all of this, the United States is basing its efforts on protecting “national security.” It seems that China will now play the role of “national security”. Unfortunately, Elon Musk’s Starlink is in the center. According to recent reports, Chinese military investigators are calling for a “hard kill” weapon. They need these weapons to shut down the Starlink satellite system if it threatens China’s national security.

Starlink Satellites

According to researchers, Starlink has “huge potential for military applications.” Thus, they are countermeasures for monitoring or destroying the growing satellite constellation. The original manuscript is in Chinese. However, you can get a translated copy of the paper published in China’s Modern Defense Technology magazine here.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is responsible for Starlink, a broadband satellite Internet network. Provides Internet access to users regardless of their location (anywhere in the world). However, to use the Starlink network, the user will need access to a Starlink satellite dish. Back in 2019, the company launched its first satellites. Since then, it now has at least 2300 satellites at lowEarth orbit around the world. However, the company plans to form a huge constellation with at least 42,000 satellites. China does not like this and will try to stop it.

In particular, researchers have concerns about the military capability of this constellation. According to them, the US will eventually monitor supersonic missiles with this system. It will also enhance US military capability and the transfer speeds of US drones and fighter jets. In addition, this constellation could pose a threat to Chinese satellites.

Last year, China wrote to the UN complain that Starlink satellites are an obstacle. China had to perform complex maneuvers to avoid “close encounters” with Starlink satellites last year.

Led by Ren Yuanzen, a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Surveillance and Telecommunications, he said: “A combination of soft and hard killing methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their function and destroy the star’s operating system.” These are two different types of space weapons. Hard kill will be more immediate, of course destroying satellites with rockets. Soft kill is less immediate and more subtle, involving the use of interceptors and lasers.

China’s alternatives

Below are some methods that China already has for disabling satellites

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