SpaceX’s broadband satellites are luring cats and breaking people’s internet access
Elon Musk’s super-fast Starlink broadband ran into an unexpected problem: pet cats.
Satellite dishes installed in users’ homes to connect them to SpaceX’s internet service would attract herds of cats, drawn to the heat of the equipment.
Photos have surfaced on Twitter of numerous cats huddled on an outdoor satellite dish in the snow, presumably to keep warm in the cold weather.
Starlink satellite dishes feature a self-heating “snowmelt mode” designed to rid them of snow and ice in cold weather.
The cats apparently figured this out and decided that a warm satellite dish was a better option than a cozy fireplace despite the freezing temperatures outside.
Aaron Taylor, the Twitter user who shared the footage, said: “That’s what surprises me the most. They have a heated cat house, with water and food, but at -25 °C and they decide to sit on the Starlink dish. When the sun goes down, they go home.”
He went on to theorize that cats like it because they get the heat from the dish and the heat from the sun at the same time. It’s unclear how much cats disrupt Starlink more generally.
Some Twitter users were worried about the cats and why they were out in the cold.
“They have free access to a heated house and come and go as they please. They are there of their own choosing,” Taylor replied.
Others joked that it was part of a cat plot to take over the world.
“Cats exist to thwart the technological hubris of man,” wrote one Twitter user.
“How else are they going to get an uplink to the mothership?” asked another.
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company, is working to build high-speed internet that spans the globe by placing around 42,000 satellites in space by mid-2027.
So far the company has launched around 1,800 satellites to deliver broadband, which costs £99 a month.