SpaceX Should ‘Flood Afghanistan With Starlink’, Says Former US Intelligence Officer

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Photo: CNN via @Michael Sheetz

As SpaceX’s Starlink low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet reaches nearly 600,000 prospective users, a former U.S. intelligence officer has said that we should use the internet to stay in contact with partners in Afghanistan amidst a Taliban takeover.

Former Navy intelligence officer Lyla Kohistany told CNN that she “would love it if SpaceX would just flood Afghanistan with Starlink,” allowing the U.S. to “maintain communication with our Afghan partners,” according to a post from @Michael Sheetz. The statement comes as Starlink gets closer to landing global coverage, expected to happen around this month.

Later in the thread, @Elon Musk responded to another user who was saying that the U.S. needed a “friendly neighboring country” in which to deploy a downlink station, though Musk’s response said the hardware wouldn’t be necessary, due to the addition of inter-satellite laser links, which SpaceX is currently adding to its next round of satellites, giving them the ability to beam internet signals to and from each other.

While SpaceX filed to produce a number of second-generation Starlink satellites last month, Amazon requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deny SpaceX’s Gen2 satellite plans. The new satellites are expected to be outfitted with an advanced propulsion technology, which SpaceX says will help reduce the potential for collisions with orbital debris even further.

On Wednesday, SpaceX filed a response to Amazon’s halt attempts, pointing out that Amazon had not filed the necessary information for its own satellite company, Project Kuiper, in over 400 days since the FCC’s request, despite having filed a motion against SpaceX’s Gen2 satellites just 4 days after it was made public.

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