In September, SpaceX despatched a letter to the Division of Protection, asking the Pentagon to take over paying for the bills associated to Ukraine’s use of its Starlink satellite tv for pc web. In response to CNN, SpaceX advised the division that persevering with to supply the Ukranian authorities with entry to Starlink would value the corporate over $120 million for the remainder of 2022 and virtually $400 million over the following 12 months. “We’re not able to additional donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the present terminals for an indefinite time period,” the corporate wrote. Now, firm chief Elon Musk appears to have backtracked on the choice to ask the Pentagon for help and wrote on Twitter that SpaceX will “maintain funding [the] Ukraine [government] without cost” though Starlink remains to be shedding cash.
Musk confirmed what he mentioned in his tweet to The Monetary Instances and added that SpaceX will proceed funding Ukraine’s entry to Starlink’s satellite tv for pc web “indefinitely.”
When information concerning the letter got here out, Musk defended his firm’s place and clarified that SpaceX will not be asking the Pentagon to pay for earlier bills. He defined that SpaceX merely cannot fund the present system in Ukraine and recurrently ship hundreds of recent terminals to interchange those routinely destroyed by the Russian forces on the similar time. Musk added that the “burn” for preserving the Starlink system operating within the nation is $20 million a month, because it’s needed to “defend in opposition to cyberattacks and jamming,” as nicely.
Earlier this month, The Instances reported that Ukrainian troops grappled with Starlink outages that led to “catastrophic” lack of communication on the frontline. Musk responded that the piece “falsely claims that Starlink terminals [and] service have been paid for, when solely a small share have been.” Based mostly on SpaceX’s letter that CNN had obtained, although, round 85 % of the 20,000 terminals in Ukraine on the time have been absolutely or partially funded by the US, the UK, Poland and different exterior sources.
The Pentagon confirmed after information of the letter turned public that it has been discussing funds with SpaceX however that it is also been taking a look at potential alternate options. Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, mentioned in an announcement: “There’s not simply SpaceX, there are different entities that we will actually associate with on the subject of offering Ukraine with what they want on the battlefield.”
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