The US government is in fact considering the possibility of subjecting some of Elon Musk’s companies to a national security check. These include Twitter and the Starlink satellite network.
Still tensions between president Joe Biden and Elon Musk. The US government is in fact considering the possibility of subjecting some of Elon Musk’s companies to a national security check. These include Twitter and the Starlink satellite network.
According to what Bloomberg reported, the need arises from concern over the tycoon’s recent threat to interrupt Starlink satellite services in Ukraine. The Biden administration also disliked some of Musk’s tweets deemed favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In recent weeks Musk has entrusted his thoughts and proposals to end Russia’s war in Ukraine to Twitter posts, also stating that SpaceX will not be able to fund its Starlink Internet service in Ukraine indefinitely. He later backtracked by rectifying and stating that he would continue to bear the costs of the service.
Last week Musk had asked the Pentagon to bear the costs of keeping Starlink’s satellites running – which since February have guaranteed the Internet connection to the Ukrainian armed forces – arguing that the financial burden had in the meantime become unsustainable.
According to the SpaceX report, the company would have spent $ 80 million this year to donate its Starlink services to Ukraine, which could grow to $ 120 million by the end of the year and cost around $ 400 million in 2023.
In response, Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary, said the US Department of Defense is “in communication” with SpaceX, adding that the US could collaborate with other satellite communications entities (Satcom).
But why is Starlink so important for Ukraine?
It is a broadband internet service that uses more than 2,200 low orbit satellites. This system has enabled crucial battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces from the very beginning of the nation’s defense against the Russian invasion. SpaceX, according to data provided by Musk last week, would have donated about 25,000 ground terminals to Ukraine.