SpaceX CEO Elon Musk rejected a request from Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, to allow Ukraine to use the company's Starlink satellites for military purposes. He is the identical twin of Mark Kelly, a senator from Arizona.
In September, Musk stated that the Starlink project was focused on peaceful use.
On January 31, Musk noted that Starlink had evolved into a vital communications link for Ukraine. However, he noted that the company would not allow the country's military to use the satellites for drone strikes. SpaceX president Gwynneth Shotwell then doubled down on this statement.
However, according to Shotwell, Ukraine had exploited the project in ways that were not agreed upon. Starlink was used by Ukraine to provide internet connectivity to hospitals, families devastated by the war, and banks. Despite this, Musk stated that the company would take various steps to prevent the country from using the satellites as weapons.
Mykailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukraine's president, stated that companies have to decide if they are following the country's rules or if they are supporting the Russia's right to annex land and commit atrocities. He suggested that SpaceX and Shotwell should make a decision regarding their future actions.
Elon Musk responded on Saturday by saying that he would consider allowing Ukraine to use the company's Starlink satellites for military purposes. In a message to Musk, Kelly noted that the country needed help and urged the company to keep its satellites operational.
In response, Musk stated that Starlink was a vital component of Ukraine's communications, especially since almost all internet access in the country has been destroyed. He noted that SpaceX would not allow the hostilities in Ukraine to escalate.
In October, Lieutenant General John Shaw, the deputy commander of the US Space Command, stated that he believed that Russia was not happy with Starlink because it was supporting Ukraine. He also noted that Russia was not happy with the commercial imagery that was being released by companies such as Maxar. Because of this, he believed that Russia would likely take action to stop these companies.
A Russian Foreign Ministry official warned that using private satellites could lead to a potential escalation of the situation in Ukraine.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on American Examiner News