Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are now active over Ukraine after a request from the embattled country’s leaders to replace internet services destroyed by the Russian attack.
Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion left parts of the country without internet, while SpaceX launched thousands of communications satellites to bring broadband to hard-to-reach parts of the world.
“The Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals on the way,” the entrepreneur tweeted on Saturday.
The move came after Ukraine’s deputy prime minister urged Mr. Musk to help them because the SpaceX system doesn’t require any fiber optic cables.
Ground users access wideband signals sent back to earth using a kit sold by SpaceX.
“@elonmusk, while you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets are successfully landing from space, Russian rockets are attacking Ukrainian civilians! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and invite sane Russians to stand up,” Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted.
SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites into orbit since 2018 and plans to have as many as 12,000 as part of its high-speed internet network.
Mr Fedorov took to Twitter to thank the SpaceX boss for his quick action.
“Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you (Elon Musk), thank you to everyone who supported Ukraine!” he tweeted.
Mr Fedorov also called on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and Google to block Russian accounts in response to the invasion.
“We have also asked (Netflix) for support. We asked them to block Russian Federation access to Netflix and shut down Russian content. We think you care. Let’s stop this shameful bloody war! he tweeted.