SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says his company will “keep funding” free of charge to the Ukrainian government even though Starlink is losing money, noting that Spacex has spent $80 million so far delivering the devices. terminals and internet services for Ukraine. “We also have to protect against cyberattacks and jams, which are becoming more and more difficult.
Elon Musk said, we will continue to give free funding to Ukraine
Spacex has been sending Starlink Internet terminals and providing services to Ukraine since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian war. At the request of the Ukrainian government, Musk began supplying the country with Starlink Internet terminals in February.
However, Spacex’s chief of government business is said to have sent a letter to the Pentagon in September, stating that the company “is not capable of funding additional terminals for Ukraine or funding for terminals available for an indefinite period of time”. The Pentagon confirmed it received a letter from Spacex about funding the Starlink satellite communication product in Ukraine.
Musk tweeted on October 7 explaining that “only a small percentage” of Starlink terminals and services in Ukraine are paid. The director of SpaceX revealed:
The operation cost Spacex $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.
In response to a question on Twitter about how much Spacex is spending “to maintain Starlink in Ukraine,” Musk detailed: “In addition to the terminals, we have to create, launch, maintain and add satellites & stations ground & pay telecommunications companies for access to [the Internet through gateways. We also have to protect against cyberattacks and jamming, which are getting harder and harder. Writes are approaching ~$20 million/month. “
Musk also shared in a tweet on October 9: “There are about 25,000 terminals in Ukraine, but each terminal can be used to provide an internet connection to a cell phone tower, so there is a possibility that several thousand people could be served by one terminal. “
Commenting on Spacex’s inability to continue providing free products and services to Ukraine, Twitter user and Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt said: “Spacex’s claim is reasonable. Do not expect a private company to continue to fund this free of charge forever. Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, etc. Do theirs work for free? Spacex has generously donated what they have done, and they will happily continue to produce terminals with government money.”
However, some have criticized Musk for his company’s letter to the Pentagon. Musk then tweeted on Saturday: “What the heck is going on with it… even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of dollars in taxes, we’ll continue to fund it. free Ukrainian government.”
It remains unclear whether the Tesla CEO is being sarcastic or if SpaceX intends to continue providing free products and services to Ukraine. Responding to a tweet about the move, Musk made it clear: “We should still do good deeds.”
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Musk explained on October 14 that there is a “huge difference” between peace communications and frontline communications. “Starlink is the only communication [system] still working at the warfront – all other systems are dead. Russia is actively looking to kill Starlink. In defense, SpaceX has redirected enormous resources to defense. Even so, Starlink can still die,” he warned. The SpaceX boss described in a follow-up tweet: “Fiber-fiber internet, phone lines, cell towers and other space connectivity systems in war zones have been destroyed. Starlink is all that remains. And now. “
Mykhailo Fedorov, deputy prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, tweeted on October 14: “Certainly, Elon Musk is one of the world’s leading private donors supporting Ukraine. Starlink is an essential element of our critical infrastructure. He also shared on October 12:
More than 100 cruise missiles have attacked energy and communications infrastructure. But with Starlink, we quickly restored connectivity in critical areas. Starlink continues to be an essential part of critical infrastructure.