Elon Musk weighs in on whether China, Russia could ‘take out’ Starlink satellite system

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appeared unfazed when asked by Axel Springer’s Mathias Döpfner about the possibility of China or Russia taking out the Starlink satellite system Musk sent to Ukraine to help them fend off Russian invaders.

Döpfner asked Musk during an interview for Business Insider if Starlink would be threatened if the Chinese and the Russians started targeting satellites.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Patrick Pleul / Pool via AP)

Musk said Russia’s anti-satellite demonstration in November was Moscow’s attempt to send a message ahead of the invasion of Ukraine. But he qualified that destroying Starlink, a network of about 2,000 satellites in low earth orbit, would not be an easy task.

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“If you attempt to take out Starlink, this is not easy because there are 2,000 satellites,” Musk told Döpfner. “That means a lot of anti-satellite missiles.”

In this photo illustration a Starlink logo of a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX is seen on a smartphone and a pc screen. (Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / Sipa USA)

He added: “I hope we do not have to put this to a test, but I think we can launch satellites faster than they can launch anti-satellite missiles.”

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The Starlink system provides high-speed broadband internet by connecting with user terminals on the ground. Ukraine experienced period outages as Russian forces invaded from the north, south, and east, according to internet monitor NetBlocks.

Musk provided the Ukrainians with Starlink stations in response to an appeal by Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

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Earlier this month, Musk warned the Ukrainians that the probability of Russia trying to target Starlink was high and urged them to proceed with bail.

FOX Business’ David Aaro contributed to this report.

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