The services of SpaceX were anyway meant to reach Ukraine to offer internet services. However, Russia’s invasion of the country on Thursday, February 24, gave the process an unexpected boost. Currently, the service is providing consumer connections in a war zone in Ukraine.
The president of SpaceX, Gwyne Shotwell gave a statement on Tuesday, March 22 in Washington, at the Satellite 2022 conference. She stated how they “were close” to gathering approvals to provide their services. However, they suffered a delay for all documents were not signed in time. Meanwhile, as the conflict started off, the process got its acceleration. As Federov, Ukraine vice prime minister tweeted at her “boss,” Elon Musk, they received “permission” for providing “capability.”
Mykhailo Federov and the Ukrainian government required the services of SpaceX’s Starlink as one of the resources to fight the Russian forces. Russians placed targets on much of the infrastructure of Ukraine, including Viasat Inc. which suffered a cyber attack in early March. This attack impacted thousands of Ukrainian residential and business customers of the internet service.
The services of Starlink were launched on Saturday, February 26 in Ukraine. This was just a short while after Federov urged SpaceX founder Musk to send Starlink terminals to the country. The request was to aid Ukraine in receiving internet service post the invasion.
Shotwell: “They tweeted at my boss and that was permission to provide capability.”
Additionally, Shotwell mentioned that France and Poland are aiding to fund the shipments of the Starlink terminals to Ukraine. Another reporter mentioned how she claimed that the company had “thousands” of terminals already in the country.
SpaceX is also extending its help in deploying an opponent satellite constellation, OneWeb which was compelled to sever its ties with the space agency of Russia. The company has launched 428 satellites till now, which is around two-thirds of its planned fleet. It is owned by the U.K. government, Eutelsat SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. Moreover, SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales, Tom Ochinero commented on the company’s contribution towards other clients. He said that its “internal customer,” Starlink can always fix plans to accommodate other clients.
Among other plans, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. aims to launch tens of thousands of satellites of Starlink. Essentially, this would be to offer low-cost internet provisions to areas that are remote and underserved. The company hopes to provide connections for businesses like that of maritime and aviation, along with governments.