Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX says it will continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, despite its earlier statement that SpaceX cannot fund Starlink indefinitely.
Musk cited the need for good deeds as the reason for his about-face, tweeting: “the hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine government for free. “
Starlink, which has been helping civilians and military personnel stay online since late February, just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, was initially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Polish and other European governments, and various military and NGOs (non-profit organizations).
The initial funding included the cost of transportation, installation and monthly fees for the service itself, but Musk had previously indicated in a tweet that this was not enough, explaining that 25,000 terminals had been set up in Ukraine, five times as many as the original delivery, and that thousands had been destroyed in the fighting, and that more were needed.
Perhaps this has fueled media reports that SpaceX has asked the U.S. government to pay for Starlink donations.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.