Thursday 26 May 2022
- Advertisement -

SpaceX supported by US subsidy to keep Ukraine net-connected

The US government and taxpayers have spent around $ 3 million contributing to SpaceX, says a report in The Washington Post, citing USAID documents

Join Sirf News on

and/or

Turns out it wasn’t Elon Musk’s business acumen or philanthropy after all. The US government is paying SpaceX to send Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine amid the Russian military operation, despite the company specifically claiming otherwise, The has found out.

The US administration is likely subsidising a part of the cost of SpaceX that is providing Starlink internet terminals and service to Ukraine — according to a report, even though SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, says it has not received any money from the government. But in most cases of reimbursement by governments across the world, the state subsidy arrives at the bank account of the private company a year later.

The report from The on 8 April details the expenditures, citing documents from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). According to the Post, American taxpayers have spent around $ 3 million contributing to the effort. That money went toward purchasing close to 1,500 Starlink terminals at $ 1,500 each, plus $ 800,000 for transportation costs to Ukraine, the newspaper reported.

“I’m proud that we were able to provide the terminals to folks in Ukraine,” SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell previously said, adding, “I don’t think the US has given us any money to give terminals to the Ukraine.”

The government purchased more than 1,330 terminals from SpaceX to send to Ukraine, but SpaceX donated 3,670 terminals.

SpaceX has also donated 3,670 terminals, along with the internet service. The WaPo report does not say how much that may have cost SpaceX out of pocket.

In late March, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell had told CNBC, “I don’t think the US has given us any money to give terminals to the Ukraine.” She also said that most of the funding came from private sources, and acknowledged some help from France and possibly Poland, according to CNBC.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on 26 February, Musk said that SpaceX would donate Starlink terminals to Ukraine so that citizens there could use the satellite internet service amid disruptions to other avenues of accessing the internet. He also urged people using the service to be careful to avoid detection by Russian forces.

In total, over 5,000 Starlink terminals were tapped to be sent to Ukraine, according to the Post story.

A USAID press release this week said that the agency “has delivered 5,000 Starlink terminals to the government of Ukraine through a public-private partnership with the American aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX.” USAID told CNET that it “directly procured 1,333 terminals for the government of Ukraine and provided on-the-ground logistical support to facilitate their safe delivery.”

The delivery of the Starlink terminals was made possible by “a range of stakeholders,” according to a USAID spokesperson, who said that the combined contributions were valued at over $15 million and facilitated a range of things including procurement, international flights, on-the-ground transportation and the satellite internet service.

The SpaceX Starlink terminals were first sent in late February in response to a request from Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation.

“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try 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,” Fedorov tweeted at the time.

SpaceX has so far not responded to any media request for comment.

Starlink has launched around 2,000 satellites into orbit since 2018 to provide an internet system that’s accessible globally.

Contribute to our cause

Contribute to the nation's cause

Sirf News needs to recruit journalists in large numbers to increase the volume of its reports and articles to at least 100 a day, which will make us mainstream, which is necessary to challenge the anti-India discourse by established media houses. Besides there are monthly liabilities like the subscription fees of news agencies, the cost of a dedicated server, office maintenance, marketing expenses, etc. Donation is our only source of income. Please serve the cause of the nation by donating generously.

Join Sirf News on

and/or

Similar Articles

Comments

Scan to donate

Swadharma QR Code
Advertisment
Sirf News Facebook Page QR Code
Facebook page of Sirf News: Scan to like and follow

Most Popular

[prisna-google-website-translator]
%d bloggers like this: