SpaceX has introduced Starshield, a satellite network specifically aimed at supporting government organizations’ national security efforts while utilizing the technology and launch capability of the company’s commercially inclined satellite internet constellation Starlink.
According to the SpaceX website, Starshield has three initial focus areas: Earth observation, launching with sensing payloads and providing users with processed data; communications, delivering assured global communications to government entities; and hosted payloads, supporting customer payload missions with satellite buses.
Starlink is also envisioned to be equipped with high-assurance cryptographic capability– in addition to Starlink’s end-to-end user data encryption– to meet government requirements for hosting classified payloads and securely processing information.
Other features are focused on ensuring interoperability with partner satellites, rapid development and launch, as well as resiliency and on-orbit asset connectivity.
In early December, SpaceX received a Federal Communications Commission clearance for the production and operation of its second-generation Starlink constellation that could have 7,500 satellites at most. The Gen2 Starlink is planned to deliver broadband service to U.S. customers.