SpaceX Starlink satellites to take part in US Air Force live-fire exercise
Because of the number of asteroids that have been coming close to the Earth, space agencies all over the world, and particularly in the United States like NASA, have begun developing defenses against otherworldly objects from space or in the skies. It was announced as of late, that Elon Musk’s Space X Starlink satellites would be taking part in an upcoming US Air Force exercise.
Express reports that the United States Army will be conducting a live-fire exercise by the 8th of April this year. This exercise follows the Air Force’s successful initial exercise of their Advanced Battle Management System, which can connect land, sea, and aerial assets. The Starlink satellites were used to connect to a Lockheed Martin AC-130 gunship. Their live-fire exercise will be involving unmanned aerial vehicles as well as shooting down cruise missiles.
The demonstrations will occur all over the country, such as the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, to the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
According to Dr. William Roper, the Air Force Acquisition Chief at the Pentagon, they hope to connect the Starlink satellites to more assets, such as the platforms on land. Dr. Roper also expressed his optimism regarding the partnering of Musk’s space program and the military. “SpaceX has been a great industry partner for us. They are very excited, and we are very excited to learn more about their satellites through the demonstration.”
Dr. Roper has also revealed that he is in talks with the privately-owned Virgin Orbit, the sister company of Virgin Galactic, to take part with LauncherOne to provide on-demand launches.
In related news, SpaceX has announced that they will allow two to three tourists aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft was designed to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station or ISS. However, with this invitation for tourists to get a seat on the spacecraft, it may come with a hefty price tag. The exact price has yet to be determined, but it will likely cost millions for one seat. The program has also yet to announce more details regarding this mission, especially the launch date, but it will likely happen before 2021 ends.