Musk sent warning as Putin threatens to destroy SpaceX satellites: ‘Legitimate targets’
Russia has warned that even satellites from private companies are now fair game to attack during times of war.
17:34, Fri, Sep 16, 2022 | UPDATED: 17:55, Fri, Sep 16, 2022
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Russia has sparked panic in the international space community once more, after warning international companies, and their commercial satellites could become military targets if they work with Western governments for intelligence and communications work. While the threat broadly applies to a number of companies, Elon Musk’s SpaceX could be targeted in particular, as Musk has confronted Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.
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Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations’ open-ended working group (OEWG) on reducing space threats, Konstantin Vorontsov, a member of the Russian Foreign Ministry said space was becoming a “launching pad for aggression and war.”
In a statement, he said: “We would like to underline an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and has become apparent during the events in Ukraine.
“Namely, the use by the United States and its allies of the elements of civilian, including commercial, infrastructure in outer space for military purposes.
“It seems like our colleagues do not realise that such actions in fact constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. Quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation.
Musk sent warning as Putin threatens to DESTROY SpaceX satellites: ‘Legitimate targets’ (Image: Getty)
The threat may be aimed at SpaceX (Image: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
“Actions of the Western countries needlessly put at risk the sustainability of peaceful space activities, as well as numerous social and economic processes on Earth that affect the well-being of people, in particular in developing countries.”
“At the very least,” the statement added, “this provocative use of civilian satellites is questionable under the Outer Space Treaty, which provides for the exclusively peaceful use of outer space, and must be strongly condemned by the international community.”
Of all the Western companies aiding Ukraine, Elon Musk and his Starlink satellites are likely to anger Russia over the past year after the SpaceX CEO handed Ukraine more than 10,000 dish antennas since the start of Putin’s invasion.
These satellites have been deployed in settings from governmental buildings, hospitals and schools — to helping to control drones used to combat the invading Russian forces.