Should nanosats with propulsion be forced to include encryption? Here’s the “yes” case

by Peter B. de Selding

LOGAN, Utah — As the debate about whether to force cubesats to carry propulsion continues, a counterargument is emerging that urges zero propulsion on small satellites unless their communications channels are encrypted.

The reason: An unencrypted signal could be hijacked, possibly allowing pirates to do what the want with the satellite, including ramming it into another spacecraft — even one in an orbit far from the cubesat's operating altitude.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is debating whether to oblige cubesats operating above 400 kilometers to carry propulsion to . . .

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