SpaceX Unveils Starshield

SpaceX Starshield screenshot
Image: SpaceX

On Friday, SpaceX added a new page to its website for Starshield. The product is billed as a secure satellite networking solution for government users and national security missions, and it marks the latest expansion of SpaceX’s portfolio of services. 

Starshield’s initial focus spans three functions: 

  1. EO: Customers can launch sensing payloads and receive their data directly. 
  2. Comms: This could be thought of as “Starlink for defense.” Moreover, Starshield will use its now-standard laser links for government user networks, which will cut latency and enable continuous connections with the ground. 
  3. Hosted payloads: Starshield will build satellite buses for “the most demanding customer payload missions.”

Extra security baked in…Beyond the end-to-end encryption protocols standard in Starlink service, Starshield will use additional cryptographic methods for classified payloads and secure data transmission. 

The flywheel keeps spinning…The synergies between Starlink and Starshield are clear as day. And the new national security-focused satellite division will also obviously leverage SpaceX launch capabilities that offer “expedient and economical access to space.” Rapid launch capabilities are a key focus for the Pentagon. 
All about scale…Starlink has deployed 3,500+ satellites. Starshield could tap into the economies of scale SpaceX is striving towards with dishes, laser links, buses, and more, helping the company rapidly gain share in new markets like EO and hosted payload services.