Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has activated Starlink, his commercial internet network, in Ukraine, with “more terminals en route”.
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
According to Politico, Musk’s SpaceX has thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit, which allow the company to beam broadband services around Earth, without the need for fiber-optic cables.
The satellites could keep Ukraine online if its internet infrastructure is damaged by Russia’s attacks, the report said.
Musk’s move came in response to a plea by Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, who called for help on Saturday, as Ukraine fought off an invasion and sustained cyberattacks by Russian forces.
“While you try to colonise Mars — Russia tries to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand,” tweeting directly to Musk, Fedorov said.
A recent report said that Musk’s Starlink project is an ambitious attempt to install a grid of satellites in the Earth’s orbit to provide internet access across the globe.
SpaceX has thus far put more than 1,700 Starlink satellites into orbit, and the company plans on launching more than 40,000 in total.