Elon Musk said on Friday SpaceX cannot “indefinitely” fund the Starlink internet service in Ukraine and send it several thousands more terminals after a report suggested that his rocket company had asked the Pentagon to pay for the donations.
Musk’s comment on the question of support for the internet service in Ukraine comes after he angered many Ukrainians with a proposal to end Russia’s war in their country that included ceding some territory.
“SpaceX is not asking to recoup past expenses, but also cannot fund the existing system indefinitely *and* send several thousand more terminals that have data usage up to 100X greater than typical households. This is unreasonable,” Musk said on Twitter.
The billionaire boss of Tesla said Starlink was spending nearly $20 million a month, he called it a “burn”, for maintaining satellite services in Ukraine. He recently said that SpaceX had spent about $80 million to enable and support Starlink in Ukraine.
CNN reported on Thursday that SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month saying it could not continue to fund the Starlink service in Ukraine and it may have to stop funding it unless the U.S. military helped with tens of millions of dollars a month.
Musk activated Starlink in Ukraine in late February after internet services were disrupted because of Russia’s invasion. SpaceX has since given it thousands of terminals. Reuters