Ukraine has an international hero: Elon Musk. The Tesla boss and SpaceX founder ensured that Ukraine could keep the internet afloat after a Russian attack.
Musk aimed part of his Starlink network of some 2,000 satellites at Ukraine after a Twitter plea from Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Fedorov. The American multibillionaire opened the connection to the Ukrainian internet, which was active again within hours. Free and for nothing. Even his mother is happy: “Wonderful. #ProudMom. Stop the war in Ukraine”.
In all the clattering of arms and propaganda, information is essential, and the swift action of the multibillionaire was greatly appreciated. “I took a screenshot of your tweet, so my grandchildren will know what you have done for Ukraine,” Somoto tweeted.
Another message tells Musk: “Thank you. Now the Ukrainian people have access to the fastest and most robust satellite internet system ever made, and the Russians can no longer sabotage our internet access.”
No one would have been more pleased with the American entrepreneur’s move than Federov, who was surprised to find his striking appeal rewarded: “Elon Musk, while you try to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! While your missiles land successfully from space, Russian missiles fall on Ukrainian civilians. We ask that you provide Ukraine with your Starlinks stations so that we can call on the Russians to use their wits.”
Musk’s dry response followed within a few hours: “Starlink activated. More terminals on the way.”
This is not the first time Musk has used his satellites for a greater purpose. During the volcanic eruption on the remote island of Tonga, his network also helped maintain communications. That was also one of the thoughts behind Starlink: bring online connections to areas that are otherwise difficult to access. The satellites can then be received via a small satellite dish.
Until his involvement with Ukraine, the service was only available in the US and Canada. About 10,000 satellites are needed for global coverage, and there are now 2,000 of those Musk satellites floating around the earth. It is a fast development because it will only be launched into space for about three years. Of course, with rockets from the entrepreneur.
Not everyone is equally happy with the commercialization of space. It is becoming too crowded, and the danger of collisions is increasing. However, Musk does not have to expect any complaints from Ukraine for the time being. The question is whether he can still sell many Teslas in Russia.