Since the launch of the first Starlink satellites in 2019, SpaceX has already placed more than 3,600 of them into low-Earth orbit, with plans to reach 42,000 pieces of equipment, forming a huge supercluster to cover a broadband Internet network. However, China seems unwilling to allow this to happen.
- SpaceX dominates low-Earth orbit with more than 3,600 Starlink broadband internet satellites;
- The company’s goal is to have 42,000 Starlink spacecraft in orbit;
- To compete with Elon Musk, China is developing its own network;
- Chinese SatNet satellites will also be equipped with the resources to take down the competitor’s equipment.
Chinese researchers plan to launch their own fleet of broadband internet satellites, with the goal of competing with the service provided by SpaceX.
Although the proposed mega-installation does not have an exact launch date, it is already known that it will consist of 12,992 satellites that are not only intended to provide a broadband internet signal, but will also be equipped with technologies to shoot down Starlink satellites.
According to the site new spacewhich specializes in commercial satellite constellations, the constellation will be owned by China Satellite Network Group, which may be called Guo Wang, GW, China SatNet, or China Satellite Network.
China wants to prevent SpaceX from “overloading” Earth’s orbit
According to Xu Can, a researcher at the University of Aerospace Engineering of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who leads the system’s deployment studies, the goal is to deploy the GW network before the Starlink constellation is completed.
An article describing the research, published this month in the journal command and control simulation, He says the rapid deployment of the Chinese constellation could prevent SpaceX from “overloading” Earth’s orbit.
The researchers are also concerned that SpaceX may choose to weaponize the satellite constellation. Because of this suspicion, in addition to providing Internet services, the satellite fleet proposed by China could spy on its competitor and even disable Starlink satellites.
The researchers told South China Morning Post. Xu added that China’s efforts “will ensure the country has a place in orbit and prevent the Starlink constellation from projecting excessively low orbit capabilities.”
As China SatNet, Starlink and Britain’s OneWeb vie for dominance in low Earth orbit, astronomers around the world may be justifiably concerned about the amount of glare these satellites can cause, hindering space observations.
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