Elon Musk’s satellites sow discord among Libyan militias

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A trail of luminous objects flying at the same speed, at low altitude, and which were seen with the naked eye in the Libyan sky during the night from Monday to Tuesday, unleashed various speculations on the origin and the nature of these bodies. Many Libyans have shared images and videos of this luminous trail which, at first glance, looked like a salvo of missiles. Some still don’t believe they were satellites launched by billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

Elon Musk’s Starlink project aims to install an internet and telephone connection of a somewhat particular and less expensive kind: it is a question of providing a connection which passes through space, via communication satellites.

It is his company SpaceX which is in charge of the project and which will provide Internet access by satellite to 40 countries. It aims for global coverage with a personal communications satellite service which should be operational after 2023. Nearly 12,000 satellites will be launched in total as part of this project.

The sight, therefore, for the first time of this luminous trail of 34 satellites largely occupied the Libyans.

Read also: SpaceX singled out because of its too bright satellites

The Center for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences was forced to issue an official statement explaining the subject and stating that further satellite launches will take place. But some militias were not willing to believe it despite these explanations. They remained convinced that they were drones from rival militias which aimed to film their position and spy on them.

The trail was also seen in other countries such as Italy, France or Lebanon.

The Libyan capital is still experiencing extreme tension after fighting last month between the forces of two opposing governments which left many victims.


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