Pentagon Praises SpaceX Starlink for Improved Polar Communications

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet is getting rave reviews from the U.S. Pentagon, as the low-Earth orbit technology is offering new connectivity to U.S. troops in the Arctic (via Bloomberg).

The news offers major improvements in the Arctic, where the rough climate conditions mitigate the ability to communicate using existing military satellites. Additionally, the Arctic is increasingly being viewed as contested land with the U.S. and China.

“We have started testing high-rate connectivity to very remote Arctic bases,” said Brian Beal, the principal aerospace engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Strategic Development and Experimentation office.

SpaceX head Elon Musk has worked with the U.S. military and the Pentagon for a handful of contracts in the past.

Last month, SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy booster for the first time since 2019, landing its first national security mission, considered a classified mission for the U.S. Space Force.

SpaceX has also discussed with the Pentagon over the past few months over who plans to pay for Starlink’s internet in Ukraine’s ongoing defense efforts against Russia.

The news also comes just weeks after Musk closed a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, alongside increasing political and public scrutiny against the billionaire CEO.

In a statement last week, U.S. President Joe Biden said Musk’s “cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” adding that he wasn’t trying to imply whether Musk was “doing anything inappropriate.”