24 Feb 2020 19:24

Russia concerned Elon Musk's satellites could be used for military purposes

MOSCOW. Feb 24 (Interfax) - A constellation of 12,000 Starlink satellites launched by Elon Musk's company to create a network designed to provide global internet coverage from space could be used for military purposes, Sergei Boyev, general designer of Russia's early warning system and CEO at MAK Vympel, said.

"One of the first event held by [Gen. John Raymond], the recently appointed head of the U.S. Space Force, was a meeting with [Elon] Musk [CEO of SpaceX], [Richard] Branson [founder of Virgin Galactic] and some other business representatives engaged in space research and development, and space-related activities. He [Raymond] had a talk with them about how their civilian spacecraft could help increase the potential of the Space Force of the United States of America," Boyev said during the Voyennaya Priyomka (Military Acceptance) show on the Zvezda television channel.

As reported earlier, Elon Musk's SpaceX is planning to launch approximately 12,000 Starlink satellites to create a comprehensive network to provide broadband internet coverage for people in any corner of the globe. Supposedly, all the satellites will be placed in orbit after 2020. Total investment in the project is estimated at $10 billion.

Currently, the Starlink orbital constellation is comprised of 300 spacecraft, which makes it the largest orbit group in the world.

SpaceX is one of many companies looking to place big constellations of satellites in orbit to provide global internet coverage. Such companies include OneWeb, Telesat, LeoSat and Amazon. As reported earlier, OneWeb has placed 40 satellites of its own system in orbit.