SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his space company’s Starlink satellite internet service is available in Ukraine and more terminals are in the works to use it.
Musk made the statement on Twitter Saturday (February 26) after being asked by a Ukrainian government official whether SpaceX could provide more Starlink services to the country after Russian forces invaded Ukraine last week. Internet services in Ukraine have seen “significant disruptions” in the capital Kiev and much of the country as a result of Russian military operations and the ensuing fighting, the monitoring group Netblocks reported on Thursday (Feb. 24).
“@ElonMusk, while you are trying to colonize Mars – Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! As your missiles land successfully from space – Russian missiles are attacking Ukrainian civilians! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to attack sensible Russians speak to hold out,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who is also the country’s minister of digital transformation, asked Musk on Twitter on Saturday†
“Starlink service is now operating in Ukraine”, Musk replied:† “More terminals on the way.”
Related: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos
Starlink service is now operating in Ukraine. More terminals on the way.February 26, 2022
SpaceX’s Starlink service provides high-speed broadband access through a massive constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit and is designed to eventually provide global coverage, with a focus on remote or backward regions. Starlink users can access the space-based Internet service using a satellite dish placed at or near the location where the service is needed.
Musk and SpaceX recently sent 50 Starlink terminals to the Pacific island of Tonga to provide free internet access to reconnect remote villages there after a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami in January, according to Reuters. The Starlink terminals are helping to restore communications with some of the worst-hit regions from the natural disaster.
Since 2019, SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 of the constellation’s satellites, expected to reach 14,000 in its original form. The company’s most recent launch occurred on Friday (February 25), when SpaceX launched 50 new Starlink satellites into orbit from a pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
SpaceX’s next Starlink mission is expected to lift off from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida later this week on Thursday (March 3).