SpaceX's Starlink eyed by US military as co. raises $500-750M for development
In a reasonably predictable turn of events, SpaceX has been awarded a healthy $28.7M contract to study, develop, and test possible military applications of its prospective Starlink internet satellite constellation.
Previously reported by Teslarati in August 2018, FCC applications related to Starlink revealed that SpaceX had plans to develop and test Starlink interconnectivity with conformal antenna arrays installed on aircraft, all but directly pointing to military involvement with a reference to the need for aerial maneuvers "[representative] of a high-performance aircraft."
Around the same time as those FCC documents surfaced, the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) spoke with AviationWeek about plans to experiment with the potential capabilities offered by a flurry of proposed low Earth orbit (LEO) internet satellite constellations, including the likes of SpaceX's Starlink, OneWeb, a Telesat network, and others. While no specific companies were fingered in AFRL's public statements, it was far too convenient to be a coincidence. Four months later, the below transaction was published in the Department of Defense's running list of new contract awards:
"[SpaceX], Hawthorne, California, has been awarded a $28,713,994 competitive, firm-fixed-price ... agreement for experimentation ... in the areas of establishing connectivity [and] operational experimentation ... [and] will include connectivity demonstrations to Air Force ground sites and aircraft for experimental purposes. For the proposed Phase 2, the awardee proposes to perform experiments [with] early versions of a commercial space-to-space data relay service and mobile connectivity directly from space to aircraft." – Department of Defense, FBO FA8650-17-S-9300
Previously: FCC Authorizes SpaceX to Provide Broadband Satellite Services
SpaceX Starlink Satellite Prototypes Include Packed, Flexible Solar Arrays
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Fired Managers and Employees in June to Shake Up Starlink Project
Elon Musk's SpaceX Is Raising $500 Million in Funding; Now Valued at $30.5 Billion
(Score: 1, Flamebait) by bradley13 on Sunday December 23 2018, @09:06AM (2 children)
More sucking on the federal teat. The thing is: this will come at a price. For example, some sort of military override (like they have for GPS), where the military has the right to take down the service for everyone else.
Separately, who wants to bet that the 3-letter agencies will also insist on building in interception capabilities.
Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
(Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday December 23 2018, @02:57PM
They could just allocate some spares to military use or send more up. They plan to start service with a fraction of the planned thousands of satellites.
TLAs would be better off installing interception hardware somewhere on Earth.
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(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24 2018, @03:26AM
This doesn't look like a no-bid favoured-supplier-only contract. And frankly, the Air Force would be idiots to only use one service when several are available. SpaceX are a good choice for testing the technology because their network is only just starting to be deployed, so changing it is still relatively cheap as opposed to a fully deployed system like Iridium.
SpaceX is a US company. They would not be allowed to build Starlink at all if they didn't include wiretapping support.
(Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 23 2018, @03:42PM (1 child)
The military state of 'Murrica already has the capability to position satellites next to target satellites and read their communication. Ultimately, knowing what others are saying is more important than stopping them from saying it.
This is all done to further the satanic goals of the filthy khazar jewish menace.
Meanwhile, the poor keep getting poorer. Class differences are at historical high levels. But militaries have mouths to feed and jews to please.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 24 2018, @03:32AM
Ground based interception is easier and cheaper.
The Jews are the scapegoats, not the perpetrators. Look for supposedly 'good' Christians in positions of power when you place the blame.