SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk has been receiving praises for letting his company’s Starlink satellites provide Internet services in some Ukraine regions. Power outages caused by Russian missiles had prompted Ukraine’s vice prime minister to directly request SpaceX CEO Musk to provide them with Internet service.
The request was made via Twitter, to which Elon Musk immediately tweeted the announcement that SpaceX satellite service has been activated in Ukraine, with a promise that more terminals will be on the way. The exchange of tweets transpired at the time when Russian President Vladimir Putin placed Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert.
As the Russian government and its (anti-war) citizens are now feeling the impact of the multiple international sanctions imposed on the country, Ukrainians continue to heroically defend their country against Putin’s invading forces. As it is, the Russian president offered to have a dialogue and negotiation to peaceably end the conflict, which Putin himself started in the first place.
Currently, the first round of dialogue has taken place but Ukraine president Zelensky does not expect anything to come out of it, since Putin sent his Minister of Culture as head of Russia’s negotiation panel.
Nevertheless, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation Mykhailo Fedorov made an appeal to Musk by tweeting that while Musk’s SpaceX rockets and Starlink stations are exploring ways to colonize Mars, Putin has been using Russian rockets and soldiers to occupy Ukraine.
About the SpaceX Starlink Satellites
Starlink is basically a constellation of Internet satellites that has the capability to provide Earth with high-speed broadband connection to billions of individuals who still do not have access to reliable internet. The plan for Starlink is to operate swarms of satellites in low-Earth orbit, which is about 340 miles in altitude that will allow the supply of continuous Internet coverage.
According to Internet monitors, the eastern and southern areas of Ukraine, which are the most affected by the fighting also had their internet connectivity significantly affected.
Musk’s Starlink satellite can also reach people who live in rural and secluded places not reachable by cell towers and fibre-optic cables. What is even more impressive is that the Starlink satellites have been proven operational even during natural disasters as in the case of the Tonga underwater volcanic eruptions that took place in January 2022. Although use of the satellite was quite effective in sending tsunami warning in remote villages, deploying these satellites is extremely expensive.