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Wed, Aug 14, 2019

Military Official Calls SpaceX Launch A Game Changer For Defense

Company Launched 60 Small Satellites On May 23

On Thursday, May 23 at 10:30 p.m. EDT SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. SpaceX’s Starlink is a next-generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected, with reliable and affordable broadband internet services.

While the launch was for civilian purposes, Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said the ability to launch such a cluster of satellites may "completely change our ability" to detect threats against the U.S. using such constellations.

AL.com reports that during a speech at the annual Space & Missile Symposium in Huntsville, O’Shaughnessy, who commands America’s homeland defense including the NORAD warning system in Colorado, said "the space-sensing layer is absolutely key" in the detection of such threats as hypersonic missiles. “I don’t know how you can do it without the space sensing layer… taking advantage of what LEO gives you.”

Gen. O’Shaughnessy said China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are posing threats at levels not seen in decades. "“We have to put the same level of focus we put on ballistic missiles on hypersonics because the trajectory they fly is very challenging from a sensor standpoint. We’re going to have to do some work” O’Shaugnessy said, adding “the best way to kill a missile is to kill it before it ever gets shot.”

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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