Elon Musk recommits SpaceX to providing Ukraine with satellite internet: ‘The hell with it’

Elon Musk recommits SpaceX to providing Ukraine with satellite internet: ‘The hell with it’

Elon Musk has appeared to recommit SpaceX to providing Starlink satellite internet terminals to Ukraine, days after he complained it was too expensive for his company.

The billionaire has said that providing the war-torn country with 20,000 units has already cost SpaceX $80m, and will top $100m by the end of 2022.

But on Saturday the Tesla boss, who has a personal fortune of around $198bn, took to Twitter to suggest that SpaceX will continue to fund the programme.

“The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free,” tweeted Mr Musk.

Venture capital investor David Sacks, replied to Mr Musk that “no good deed goes unpunished.”

And Mr Musk, who is currently trying to buy Twitter for $44bn, told him, “Even so, we should still do good deeds”

Last month SpaceX wrote to the Pentagon asking the US military to cover its costs which it estimates at nearly $400m for the next year, according to CNN.

“We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote to the Pentagon in the September letter.

In a separate cover letter to the Pentagon, an outside consultant working for SpaceX wrote, “SpaceX faces terribly difficult decisions here. I do not think they have the financial ability to provide any additional terminals or service as requested by General Zaluzhniy.”

The Starlink controversy became public in the wake of Mr Musk suggesting a peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, and being told to “f*** off” publicly by Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk.

SpaceX’s Starlink network of Internet-beaming satellites has helped keep Ukraine connected throughout the conflict.

Just two days after Russian tanks crossed into the country in February, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister tweeted directly at Mr Musk, urging him to send Starlink equipment.

Just two days after Russian tanks crossed into the country in February, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister tweeted directly at Mr Musk, urging him to send Starlink equipment.

“(Elon Musk) while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand,” tweeted Mr Fedorov.

Just hours later, Mr Musk, replied: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”

And two days after that the politician posted a picture of the first shipment arriving in Ukraine.

“Starlink — here. Thanks, (Elon Musk),” tweeted Mr Fedorov.

Published by anthonyhayble

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