As if borders on Earth weren't bad enough, it looks like the fight for space territory will soon begin. With the modern Space Age kicking off again, heavily backed by American private companies, it looks like countries such as China are concerned about how much space will be left for them.
China vs SpaceX
In an article released on China Military Online, the Chinese armed forces expressed worry at the United States’ dominance outside Earth. Due to NASA’s partnership with SpaceX, helping to get more rockets and satellites into space, the Chinese armed forces believe America is attempting to control space.
China Military Online told its readers — via Eurasian Times — that Starlink's ongoing massive expansion is for military purposes. While Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite Internet product, is being used by countries such as Ukraine, it is not designed as a military tool for any country.
“SpaceX has decided to increase the number of Starlink satellites from 12,000 to 42,000,” the state newspaper reads. “The program’s unchecked expansion and the company’s ambition to use it for military purposes should put the international community on high alert.”
The newspaper used Starlink’s prominence in Ukraine’s fight against the invading Russian army. With Starlink providing essential Internet for the Ukranian resistance, the satellite technology has been used to aid in the fight as Ukrainians use the tech to monitor UAVs. Ukrainian military forces have explained that connecting to Starlink was an integral part of its drone strikes.
A Space Monopoly?
Outside of China’s militaristic view of SpaceX’s techno-empire, China Military Online also expressed disdain towards its monopoly. While the Musk-backed company has competitors like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin, it is miles ahead of the rest.
From Starlink to its NASA projects, SpaceX has a grip on the space industry that even NASA has to take advantage of. With the dangers of filling up space evident, China believes that the company is attempting to take up as much space around Earth as possible. Considering SpaceX satellites are already causing issues for rocket launches, the statements on area monopoly are not inherently incorrect.
“Orbital position and frequency are rare strategic resources in space,” the article said. “The LEO can accommodate about 50,000 satellites, over 80% of which would be taken by Starlink if the program were to launch 42,000 satellites as it has planned. SpaceX is undertaking an enclosure movement in space to take a vantage position and monopolize strategic resources.”