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Chinese researchers urge to adopt methods to destroy Starlink

Starlink satellites, believed to be resistant to all hacking and jamming attempts, are under heavy fire. Great world powers consider it to be a threat to national security.

A research paper seen by the South China Morning Post says the country needs to be able to disable or even destroy SpaceX's Starlink satellites if they threaten national security.

Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications under the PLA's Strategic Support Force, and colleagues published a paper in the domestic journal Modern Defence Technology, urging to develop new anti-satellite capabilities.

"A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation's operating system," the paper reads.

Starlink already has over 2,300 satellites in orbit. SpaceX signed a five-year contract with the US Air Force to transport military cargo and humanitarian aid in January.

The researchers suggested that "it would be possible for satellites carrying military payloads to be launched amid a batch of Starlink's commercial craft" and said the Chinese military needed to upgrade its space surveillance systems.

According to the South China Morning Post, China can destroy a satellite with a missile, but this would produce a large amount of space debris and be expensive compared to relatively low-cost satellites. Chinese scientists have developed lasers to blind or damage satellites and nano-sats that could destroy bigger satellites and cyber weapons to cripple the technology.

Recently, the use of Starlink satellites in Ukraine ruffled some feathers in Russia, placing a red dot on SpaceX as a potential target for retaliation.

The Russian state has the capabilities to attack commercial satellites.

Western intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russia was behind the attack on Viasat's satellite KA-SAT network on the first day of the invasion of Ukraine, causing connection outages for thousands of users across Europe.

Reacting to the news about the attribution of Viasat's attack, Musk himself admitted that Starlink satellites were under fire. However, he added that SpaceX's infrastructure "has resisted all hacking and jamming attempts."

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