Musk’s SpaceX asks Pentagon to finance the work of Starlink in Ukraine

14 October 2022, 12:02 PM
SpaceX can no longer fund the project (Photo:REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

SpaceX can no longer fund the project (Photo:REUTERS/Joe Skipper)

Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX company has informed the Pentagon that it can no longer finance the services of its Starlink satellite Internet system in Ukraine, CNN reports on Oct. 13.

The system is thought to be critical for maintaining communications between Ukrainian military units as they advance to liberate Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia.

But for more than two weeks, Ukrainian forces have been experiencing failures of the system to work in newly liberated territories, several news outlets have reported.

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It would cost about $120 million to continue Starlink operations in Ukraine until the end of the year, according to the SpaceX statement. The cost for the whole 2023 is estimated at $400 million. SpaceX has proposed that the Pentagon take over the funding.

“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 said in a letter to the Pentagon.

So far, roughly 20,000 Starlink satellite units have been donated to Ukraine, with Musk Oct. 14 that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.”

Recently, Ukrainian officials reported about failures of the Starlink system on the front line, but the work of satellite internet was reported to have been restored again on Oct. 13.

SpaceX was recently valued at $125 billion. Being a private company, it is not required to publish financial data such as profit and loss figures.

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