Billionaire Elon Musk on Saturday stated through a tweet that his company SpaceX would no longer be able to continue to support Starlink satellites for the Ukrainian government as battles with Russia continue.
Starlink which is operated by SpaceX is a satellite internet providing access to nearly 40 countries. It was launched in September 2019. It provides facilities such as satellite internet, cellular services, military services, military communications, and many more.
Starlink has been a primary source of transmission in Ukraine as the battalions and natives were united after the phone and internet networks were devastated during the conflict.
This was recognized by Dimitri Alperovitch, co-founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, who said that Starlink has been an absolute necessity as Russians struck a master plan by attacking the communication system so that the Ukrainian army would operate blind.
Despite all this, Elon Musk’s SpaceX confirmed that it can no longer pay for the continuation of Starlink for satellite internet. A letter that was by SpaceX’s director mentioned the situation the company is in. The company’s director worried that the company would no longer be able to contribute any number of terminals to Ukraine or raise funds for the remaining terminals.
A count of 20,000 satellites has been contributed to Ukraine by SpaceX with a price value of around $80 million and may climb up to $100 million by the end of this year.
According to CNN, Elon Musk even sent a note to the Pentagon wording that SpaceX will not be able to fund Starlink and appealed to the Pentagon to take on the use of Starlink in Ukraine at a price value of more than $120 million for this year and nearly $400 million for the following year.
Musk received tremendous backlash but as well acclaimed widespread appreciation for responding to the proposal for 20,000 terminals which received partial revenue from other sources that include the US, the UK, and Poland.
The US earlier supported nearly $3 million on hardware and assistance in Ukraine and 1700 terminals. The highest supporter of terminals is Poland with a contribution of almost 9000 terminals. However, if we look in detail, it is SpaceX that has contributed to about 70% of the service to Ukraine.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person and chief executive of Tesla Inc., is the biggest shareholder of SpaceX which holds a valuation of $127 billion which increased by $2 billion this year.