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Updated September 18th, 2022 at 01:25 IST

'Starlink is for peaceful use': Elon Musk after Russia's warning over civilian satellites

"Starlink is for peaceful use only," tweeted Elon Musk after Russia objected to the use of civilian satellites and called them a "target for retaliation".

Harsh Vardhan
Starlink
Image: AP | Image:self
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Elon Musk, in his latest tweet, stated that Starlink, his satellite-internet providing company managed by SpaceX, is “meant for peaceful use only." His statement comes after a Russian delegate raised concerns about ‘civilian satellites’ ending up being a ‘legitimate target for retaliation’ during a recent United Nations meeting on reducing space threats.

“We would like to underline an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and has become apparent during the events in Ukraine," an official from Russia named Konstantin Vorontsov said on September 12. 

“Namely, the use by the United States and its allies of the elements of civilian, including commercial, infrastructure in outer space for military purposes”, he added as per Ars Technica. “It seems like our colleagues do not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. Quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation”. In addition to this, the official also cited the violation of the Outer Space Treaty as a reason to avoid the use of civilian satellites. 

SpaceX's Starlink in Ukraine cause of concern? 

Many are speculating that the term ‘US and its allies’ is being used for SpaceX which activated Starlink in Ukraine on the request of the country’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov after Russia attacked Kyiv on February 24. Since then, SpaceX has transported many Starlink terminals which are being used by civilians as well as the Ukraine military to fend off the Russian troops. Earlier this week, SpaceX announced that Starlink is now active in all seven continents and that it is testing a new laser network for increased connectivity. 

"Starlink is now on all seven continents! In such a remote location like Antarctica, this capability is enabled by Starlink's space laser network", the company tweeted. The Starlink constellation consists of over 2,800 active satellites and this number will increase in the coming weeks. Currently, SpaceX is targeting the launch of 54 new Starlink satellites to orbit from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 6:13 am IST on September 18.

 

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Published September 17th, 2022 at 22:54 IST

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