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Two space companies fight in the Ukraine war

Two stories yesterday illustrate how Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has forced two different space companies, one American and the other Ukrainian, to adapt and change in order to help the Ukraine.

First, SpaceX once again demonstrated its ability to adapt, revise, and even redesign its products with lightning speed, based on unexpected facts on the ground.

After SpaceX sent Starlink terminals to Ukraine in February in an apparent effort to help Ukraine maintain its internet connection amid war with Russia, SpaceX founder Elon Musk claimed that Russia had jammed Starlink terminals in the country for hours at a time. After a software update, Starlink was operating normally, said Musk, who added on March 25 that the constellation had “resisted all hacking & jamming attempts” in Ukraine.

The speed in which SpaceX overcame Russia’s jamming was so fast that the American military was gob-smacked.

“From an EW technologist perspective, that is fantastic. That paradigm and how they did that is kind of eyewatering to me,” said Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Pentagon’s acquisition office. “The way that Starlink was able to upgrade when a threat showed up, we need to be able to have that ability. We have to be able to change our electromagnetic posture, to be able to change very dynamically what we’re trying to do without losing capability along the way.”

In other words, the Pentagon is incapable at present of doing the same thing, and now realizes it should be. The real lesson this government entity should take from this however is to stop trying to build anything at all. Hire the private sector. Let it do the work. Competing privately owned companies can always beat the government at this game. Always.

The second story involves the Ukrainian company Lunar Research Service, which until the war had used its 3D-printing technology to build components for a number of space missions, including lunar rovers. That changed immediately with the invasion.

The start-up was just about to ship its first batch of nanosatellites to their Kickstarter backers, but priorities changed within days, the company’s chief technology officer Dmytro Khmara told Space.com in an email. Instead of going to the customers, the nanosatellites were taken apart and the components handed over to the military.

Since then the company has reprogrammed its 3D printers to build parts for the Ukrainian military, including gun parts.

Though company officials say they hope to return to building components for space, circumstances might not allow it. As long as the war grinds on, the company’s profits will be found in helping the Ukriane’s military.

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6 comments

  • Bob Wilson

    Great article about a terrible war. it is good the private enterprise is helping but Ukrainians. Not covered by the left-wing media is that the European Union has funded the Russians by over $35 billion since the start of the war by buying their oil and natural gas. This is mainly due to the US and European government envirowackos. The United States has not been able to provide natural gas to Europe because the enviros have stopped both us and the Europeans from building the liquefied natural gas ship terminals required. so the piddly $800 million that Biden probably announced is really a drop in the bucket compared to the aid going from the Europeans to the Russians.

  • pzatchok

    The Ukraine still lets Russian NG to pass through its pipelines.

    When the weather changes they can take out the Nordstream pipeline and shut off the lines going through their country.

    Just the threat of that could help keep military supplies flowing into the Ukraine.

  • Jeff Wright

    A Russian Ministry of Defense Space Weapon facility in Tver is burning…2-6 dead. This was the birthplace of Iskander, S-400, etc. Also, Tucker Carlson made a bit of a gaffe himself in going after an MSNBC volunteer-who was not talking about the calibur of the threat. The Russians have a missile called Kalibur as I recall.

  • Col Beausabre

    With all the hype about drones, how many of you know that Marilyn Monroe made drones for the US military in WW2?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioplane_Company?msclkid=c9eb968bc24611ec8d066757f5c8c861

  • Realist

    Russia’s Plan A and Plan B, explained by Jacob Dreizin

    Great explanations by military specialist Jabob Dreizin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSogX3qyidk

  • Realist

    Russia’s Plan A and Plan B, explained
    Published by dreizinreport on April 24, 2022

    -Russia’s original war plan vs. the new plan,
    -Sooner or later, one of the Ukraine’s nuclear reactors will rapture,
    -Civilians blessing and waving to Russian soldiers in Kharkov,
    -War crime or TV crime drama?
    -No, Russia won’t use WMD’s in the Ukraine,
    -Russia targeting NATO arms shipments,
    -A lesson from the Russo-Turkish war,
    -Azov cries “uncle!”,
    -A little about Trump,
    -And other splendid tales of action and adventure!

    https://thedreizinreport.com/2022/04/24/russias-plan-a-and-plan-b-explained/

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