Elon Musk backtracks, says SpaceX will fund Starlink in Ukraine "indefinitely"

midian182

Posts: 8,482   +104
Staff member
In brief: Elon Musk has seemingly backtracked on his claim that SpaceX cannot keep funding Starlink in Ukraine indefinitely. The CEO now says the company will continue paying for the service and providing terminals to the country's government.

SpaceX has supplied around 25,000 Starlink ground terminals to Ukraine since the war began. Musk says this has cost the company $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year. Additionally, SpaceX must create, launch, maintain and replenish satellites and ground stations, and pay telcos for access to the Internet via gateways, all of which costs close to $20 million per month. Musk also noted that the terminals have data usage 100x greater than typical households.

According to a CNN report, SpaceX's director of government sales sent a letter to the Pentagon last month warning that it cannot supply more Starlink satellites and indefinitely fund existing ones in Ukraine. It estimates the costs could reach almost $380 million over the next 12 months and wants the US government to foot the bill.

Musk seemed to confirm the letter's authenticity in a series of tweets. He noted that competitors such as Lockheed Martin & Boeing received billions of dollars in government contracts for their services. He also referenced Ukraine's outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, who told Musk he should "F**k off" over his controversial Ukraine peace plan poll, stating, "We're just following his recommendation."

The Pentagon confirmed that it had been discussing payments with Starlink to ensure connectivity for Ukrainian forces. It's also been looking at potential alternatives. "There's not just SpaceX, there are other entities that we can certainly partner with when it comes to providing Ukraine with what they need on the battlefield," said Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh.

But a day after his tweets, Musk changed his stance, likely due to the backlash. "The hell with it," the billionaire wrote on Twitter. "Even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we'll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free."

The SpaceX letter to CNN states that about 85% of the 20,000 terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, Poland, and the UK. These entities also paid for about 30% of the internet connectivity.

"I have not seen ANY Starlink which was bought by the governments, or by SpaceX. All the Starlinks I have seen/used – were bought either by volunteers like myself, or soldiers put their personal money in. The subscription price is also paid out of pocket," wrote Dimko Zhluktenko, the founder of the Ukrainian military charity Dzyga's Paw (via The Guardian).

Earlier today, Musk said SpaceX would be adding a donate option to Starlink for those who want to donate its hardware and services to places in need.

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hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,718   +2,682
The richest man in the world comes up with a donate button now? Why not at the very beginning of all this? Isn't he a visionary? Was something in his eye?

Smells like a last minute Plan B after an epic plan A fail to me, but I can't stand the man, so I'm bias.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 1,109   +940
The richest man in the world comes up with a donate button now? Why not at the very beginning of all this? Isn't he a visionary? Was something in his eye?

Smells like a last minute Plan B after an epic plan A fail to me, but I can't stand the man, so I'm bias.


He is fulfilling a Government role.... because he's a decent guy and happens to have Billions and a bunch of Satellites. He doesn't have to do this, but is...
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,410   +7,845
The richest man in the world comes up with a donate button now? Why not at the very beginning of all this? Isn't he a visionary? Was something in his eye?

Smells like a last minute Plan B after an epic plan A fail to me, but I can't stand the man, so I'm bias.
Visionary? 🤣 IMO, the only vision that Musk has is of his own head massively inflated by the size of his wallet when he looks in the mirror.
 

Rq3EWAq

Posts: 169   +172
Another Techspot opportunity to pound on Musk. Ain't Joe and Kamala doing a great job.
Dude, when the richest guy on the planet adds donate button on his company website, every sane person knows something is not right. He brings it all on himself, no political help is necessary. This guy even lied about his Asperger syndrome (form of autism) to be more posh and trendy. His deception has no limits.
Watch the documentary I linked above if you want to open your eyes on Musk.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 494   +853
Another Techspot opportunity to pound on Musk. Ain't Joe and Kamala doing a great job.

I'm a bit fed up with the people who love to bash successful people. The guy has brought a ton of innovation to the market in the past 5 years.

Always people who want to take from the earners and successful. They feel it isn't "fair". Must just bent over to public pressure, there was no need for him to pay for this.
 

TheRealSCDC

Posts: 494   +853
Dude, when the richest guy on the planet adds donate button on his company website, every sane person knows something is not right. He brings it all on himself, no political help is necessary. This guy even lied about his Asperger syndrome (form of autism) to be more posh and trendy. His deception has no limits.
Watch the documentary I linked above if you want to open your eyes on Musk.

Yeah, like documentaries are fact. Jeez.
 

Rq3EWAq

Posts: 169   +172
I'm a bit fed up with the people who love to bash successful people. The guy has brought a ton of innovation to the market in the past 5 years.

Always people who want to take from the earners and successful. They feel it isn't "fair". Must just bent over to public pressure, there was no need for him to pay for this.
Don't be fed up with people who pointing out a liar. Watch the video I posted above if you are not aware who Elon Musk is.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,410   +7,845
Nothing. He is close to what anons on Internet would call a fraud.

Interesting video. Thanks for posting it. I bet @captaincranky will also appreciate it as he and I have long been railing on Musk here on TS. To me, he has always obviously been a fraud, but this makes him out to be much worse than I thought.

I'm sure there will be people who will not believe this, but its a great effort to put Musk into the light that he deserves.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,410   +7,845
I'm a bit fed up with the people who love to bash successful people. The guy has brought a ton of innovation to the market in the past 5 years.

Always people who want to take from the earners and successful. They feel it isn't "fair". Must just bent over to public pressure, there was no need for him to pay for this.
I'm sure that many people find it difficult, in this day and age of marketing blather and self-promotion, to figure out just who is worthy of praise.

EDIT: IMO, Musk, along with people like Bill Gates (incidentally, everyone thinks he's a genius. Need I remind anyone that his company promoted a multi-millon dollar pollution control system needing substantial infrastructure as a pollution/waste proposal that was "the" solution for India - when all they really needed was composting toilets) are the least deserving of praise.
 

Rq3EWAq

Posts: 169   +172
Interesting video. Thanks for posting it. I bet @captaincranky will also appreciate it as he and I have long been railing on Musk here on TS. To me, he has always obviously been a fraud, but this makes him out to be much worse than I thought.

I'm sure there will be people who will not believe this, but its a great effort to put Musk into the light that he deserves.
Watch part 2 and following material too! It's just a gold mine of Elon lies and deception. I watched it all and my view of him will never be the same.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Regardless of the many, many opinions he is doing a good deed for the people of Ukraine. I personally have little regard for the man but it has been and continues to be a noble effort and frankly, considering the importance of this to their war effort, I see little reason that our own government as well as other governments could/should not kick in a bit of money as well.