SpaceX awarded Ukraine contract for Starlink satellite internet

The Pentagon has agreed to purchase Starlink satellite internet terminals from Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide communication capabilities for Ukraine as it continues to defend against a Russian invasion. The Pentagon did not disclose the contract details, including the price, scope and timeline of delivery for operational security reasons. The first Starlink terminals arrived in Ukraine four days after Russian troops crossed the border in the largest air, land and sea assault in Europe since World War II. Ukraine digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov previously asked Musk for the capability on Twitter, and Musk agreed to fund the service. However, in October, Musk said SpaceX could not fund Starlink in Ukraine indefinitely and asked the Pentagon to cover the cost. Western officials hailed Musk's decision to equip Ukraine with Starlink internet, citing the Russian shelling on civilian infrastructure that left large swaths of the country without communications. Starlink is SpaceX's global network of over 4,000 satellites that provides service to more than 50 countries, and the company has grown Starlink to more than 1.5 million customers. SpaceX has steadily expanded Starlink's product offerings in recent years, selling services to residential, business, RV, maritime, and aviation customers. SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell emphasized that Starlink "was never intended to be weaponized," but Ukrainians have used it to connect drones and identify and destroy enemy targets. Shotwell said there are things that SpaceX can do to limit their ability to do that. SpaceX is a leader in rocket launches, but Starlink is its golden ticket.


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