SpaceX is launching a second line of satellites named “Starshield,” this one aimed at military and national security applications.
SpaceX is the leading low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operator with its Starlink constellation of satellites. Starlink provides internet access to under-served communities and regions, but the company sees potential in military applications as well.
The company describes Starshield’s role on its website:
Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use.
SpaceX says the initial focus will be on Earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads, and touts the security and encryption the platforms provides.
Starlink already offers unparalleled end-to-end user data encryption. Starshield uses additional high-assurance cryptographic capability to host classified payloads and process data securely, meeting the most demanding government requirements.