SDA Director Says Starlink’s Resilience to Russian Attacks Demos Proliferated Constellation Strengths
The director of the Space Development Agency said Starlink’s resilience against potential Russian threats speaks to the overall power of a proliferated constellation.
Speaking at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event on Tuesday, Derek Tournear shared that Russia has yet to shoot down a Starlink satellite despite having demonstrated an ability to strike objects in low-Earth orbit. He said the fact that no Starlink satellite has been taken down yet shows that a proliferated constellation can withstand threats and allow the military to continue working.
The performance of Starlink’s constellation of over 3,500 satellites during armed conflict gives SDA more confidence in spending billions of dollars for an LEO constellation for its data transport and missile tracking capabilities, SpaceNews reported Tuesday.
Tournear said satellite proliferation would allow the SDA’s envisioned constellation to continue operating without capability degradation even if some of the spacecraft may be shot down.
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, said in a Twitter post that Russia uses electronic jamming on Starlink every day in an attempt to disrupt services. He noted, however, that Moscow has been unsuccessful in its attempt to bring down the constellation.
Russia used electronic jamming to disrupt Viasat services in Ukraine, Musk said when he was asked about the Kremlin’s attempts to attack Starlink.
Tournear also noted that China is already taking advantage of proliferated constellations and is adopting the architecture at a faster rate compared to the U.S.
Tags: Derek Tournear Elon Musk Russia space Space Development Agency SpaceNews SpaceX StarLink