SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced they are delaying Starship development and Starlink V2 satellite deployment.
According to Musk, the delay is due to a change in priorities at the company to focus on cyber defense and signal jamming.
The shift is likely a result of the company’s ongoing efforts to keep the government and citizens of Ukraine connected to the rest of the world with Starlink satellite internet.
SpaceX reprioritized to cyber defense & overcoming signal jamming.
Will cause slight delays in Starship & Starlink V2.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Caught in the crossfire of this shift in priorities is Starship and Starlink V2.
SpaceX has been awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the first orbital test flight of Starship. After several delays the approval is expected to come next month, but with this latest development the test flight might not take place for several months.
That is not ideal as SpaceX need Starship to deploy their next generation of Starlink satellites into orbit, known as Starlink V2. SpaceX currently uses its Falcon 9 rockets to deploy the current generation of satellites, but according to Musk “Falcon has neither the volume nor the mass to orbit needed for satellite V2.”
Musk has worked swiftly to provide satellite internet service in Ukraine as Russia continues its attacks on the nation’s communication infrastructure.
Earlier this week he was able to activate Starlink and within days send dozens of terminals to Ukraine’s Vice President and Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov.
Fearing attacks by Russian forces to take down Starlink, which apparently are not too fond of his efforts to help Ukrainian citizens, Musk has warned users to only turn on the service “when needed and place antenna as far away from people as possible,” and to camouflage the dish to “avoid visual detection.”
SpaceX updates Starlink to be powered by car cigarette lighter and to allow for mobile roaming in Ukraine