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Elon Musk’s SpaceX inks deal with US, deepening ties to intelligence, military agencies

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is deepening its ties with US intelligence and military agencies through classified contracts ranging in the billions of dollars.
SpaceX has long been a major partner for the US in launching military satellites, but documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal show the company entered into a massive $1.8 billion classified contract with the US government in 2021.
SpaceX will not publicly clarify the government agency behind the contract.
SpaceX has also developed a branch of the company, Starshield, specifically to deal with government clients.
The organization claims its satellites can handle secure communications and capture data, among other capabilities.
The US military entered into a $70 million contract with Starshield in August 2023, according to WSJ.
SpaceX has also developed ties with the National Reconnaissance Office, an organization whose very existence was classified until 1992.
SpaceX has also deployed its civilian-facing product, Starlink, to war zones of its own accord.
3 SpaceX entered into a massive $1.8 billion classified contract with the US government in 2021. REUTERS
It has provided Ukraine with thousands of Starlink terminals that allow the country to communicate while under Russian siege.
Recently, Ukrainian intelligence reported that the Russian military is also using numerous Starlink terminals, though Musk says he has no knowledge of terminals being sold — directly or indirectly — to Russia.
The US is just one of many global powers seeking to bolster its capabilities in space.
3 Elon Musk’s SpaceX has also deployed its civilian-facing product, Starlink, to war zones of its own accord. via REUTERS
3 SpaceX has provided Ukraine with thousands of Starlink terminals that allow the country to communicate while under Russian siege. SpaceX
Both Russia and China have invested huge sums of money into developing state-of-the-art satellite networks.
Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner sounded the alarm on new intelligence revealing a Russian program aimed at deploying nuclear weapons in space.
While the White House says the Russian program has yet to be deployed, it nevertheless illustrates the threat posed by adversarial space programs.

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