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SpaceX Encrypts Falcon 9 Telemetry After Amateur Radio Operators Download Data !

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by IW2BSF, Apr 16, 2021.

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  1. IW2BSF

    IW2BSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    SpaceX Encrypts Falcon 9 Telemetry After Amateur Radio Operators Download Data !

    SpaceX doesn’t operate like a traditional aerospace company. For one, the CEO is usually hamming it up on Twitter during launches and providing details that would usually go in a press release. SpaceX also live streams almost all of its launches, even the prototypes that have an unfortunate tendency to blow up lately. It wasn’t even encrypting the Falcon 9 telemetry feed… until now. Unfortunately, some digging by amateur radio tinkerers seems to have convinced SpaceX to step up its security.

    It all started a few weeks ago when several Redditors managed to lock onto the 2232.5 MHz telemetry downlink from a Falcon 9 upper stage. Right away, they were able to pull out a few interesting plaintext snippets from the unencrypted feed. With a little more work, the radio enthusiasts were able to capture some amazing images from the spacecraft’s cameras.

    After that discovery was public, other SpaceX fans tried to grab some data from the Starship during its prototype tests. However, SpaceX had chosen to encrypt that data. Even with the right wireless equipment, the decoded signal was just noise. Now, it appears the same thing is happening with the Falcon 9. When attempting to pull data from the most recent Falcon 9 launch, the original signal snoopers discovered it had also been encrypted. A series of tweets from SpaceX engineers suggest the decoding of the telemetry signal was the reason for the change.

    more info:

    73 de IW2BSF - Rudy
    KF0BMD, KI5ONL, N6MST and 1 other person like this.
  2. K6LPM

    K6LPM Ham Member QRZ Page

    That sucks, really isn't much for a UTE enthusiast to listen to these days.
  3. KI5ONL

    KI5ONL Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bad move on their part. Excellent free advertising and publicity.
  4. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since SpaceX does contract work for the U.S. government, it was probably not wise having an unencrypted video downlink.
  5. IW2BSF

    IW2BSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    ..... One of the many stupid of Elon Musk?

    that among other things they write that you want to appoint "emperor" by Mars .... hi hi :)

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