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.
Former Navy intelligence officer @LylaKohistany on CNN:
"Frankly, I would love it if SpaceX would just flood Afghanistan with Starlink so that there is a way for us to maintain communication with our Afghan partners." pic.twitter.com/iGmKP6hXaP
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) September 1, 2021
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.
Our satellites launching in next few months have inter-satellite laser links, so no local downlink needed. Probably active in 4 to 6 months.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2021
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.
Contributing Writer at TeslaNorth.com from California’s southeast Bay Area. Covers electric vehicles, space exploration, and all things tech. Loves a good cup of coffee, live music and puppies. Buying a Tesla? Click here to get 1,000 free Supercharging miles.