Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, disclosed on Saturday that his company will continue to fund the satellite internet service in Ukraine amidst the war with Russia, just a day after claiming that the project was starting to lose about $20 million per month.
“The hell with it,” he said on Twitter. “Even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding the Ukraine govt for free.”
Well he is the world’s richest man, so paying for one of Ukraine’s internet services isn’t really a huge problem for him.
The SpaceX CEO stated on Friday that he believed it was unfair that SpaceX was not subsidized by the US military to continue operating Starlink in Ukraine, despite the fact that competitors including Lockheed Martin and Boeing were funded a lot of money to provide assets.
After CNN released memos sent out by SpaceX to the Pentagon, the US military acknowledged that it was in talks with Musk's company on providing financial support for the satellite internet service. “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 stated in a letter seen by the network.
'I'm trying my hardest to de-escalate this situation and obviously failing,' Musk said in response to a tweet from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who is actually fighting extradition to the United States on financial and wire fraud charges. In response to Musk's surrender recommendations, Ukraine's envoy to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, told him, 'Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you... The only outcome is that now no Ukrainian will EVER buy your f**king Tesla crap.' So good luck to you'
According to an up to date message provided by Musk last week, SpaceX has donated approximately 25,000 ground terminals to Ukraine. However, some have made complaints that the company's donation represents only a small fraction of the total number of Starlink terminals used across the country, the majority which are purchased and compensated for at market prices.
SpaceX's latest Starlink launch took place on October 5, when the company launched 52 additional Starlink satellites into space. So far, SpaceX has initiated over 3,400 Starlink satellites as it works to construct a constellation of 12,000 satellites. In addition, the company has requested permission to release an additional 30,000 satellites to expand its internet network.