SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have now been deployed over Ukraine with more on the way, according to the company’s billionaire CEO Elon Musk, after a call for help from the country’s vice prime minister on Saturday.
Mykhailo Fedorov, who is also Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, tweeted Musk requesting that SpaceX switch on its Starlink broadband satellites to supplement the country’s Internet services which have been disrupted during Russia’s ongoing invasion.
“@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!” Fedorov posted.
Within a few hours, Musk replied. What a guy.
SpaceX has sent more than 2,000 satellites into space since the first 60 terminals were launched in 2019, with plans to have as many as 42,000 satellites in the Earth’s lower orbit in the future.
The project has not been without its detractors.
NASA in particular has been vocal in its criticism of SpaceX’s plans, arguing earlier this month in a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that more objects in space would diminish “our planet’s ability to detect and possibly redirect a potentially catastrophic impact”.