Chinese military researchers have
called for the development of a "hard kill" weapon to destroy Elon Musk's Starlink satellite system if it threatens China's national security.
The researchers drew attention
to Starlink's "huge potential for military applications" and the need for China to develop countermeasures to surveill, disable or even destroy the growing satellite megaconstellation.
Starlink is a broadband
satellite internet network developed by Musk's SpaceX company that aims to beam internet access to customers anywhere in the world
Since the first
Starlink satellites were launched in 2019, SpaceX has put more than 2,300 of them into low-Earth orbit
The Chinese researchers
were particularly concerned by the potential military capabilities of the constellation, which they claim could be used to track hypersonic missiles
China has had some near misses
with Starlink satellites already, having written to the U.N. last year to complain that the country's space station was forced to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid "close encounters" with Starlink satellites