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Fortunately for Ukraine, a country where the ongoing military conflict with Russia has disrupted Internet access, Elon Musk perhaps was scrolling through his Twitter mentions.
Responding to a request for help via social media from a Ukraine government official to restore online connectivity there, billionaire Musk announced on Saturday evening that “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
Starlink is the broadband satellite service operated by SpaceX, for which Musk is founder and CEO.
That morning, Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, made this appeal to the visionary and sometimes controversial or quirky entrepreneur who also founded Tesla:
“@elonmusk, 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.”
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022
Federov subsequently tweeted his gratitude to Musk, who is said to be the world’s richest man with an estimated net worth of about $200 billion (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is number two):
“Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you @elonmusk, thank you everyone, who supported Ukraine!”
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
According to Space.com, “SpaceX’s Starlink service offers high-speed broadband access via a massive constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit and is designed to ultimately provide coverage anywhere on Earth, with a focus on remote areas or underserved regions. Starlink users access the space-based internet service using a satellite dish placed on or near the location where service is needed.”
Musk reportedly sent 50 terminals to Tonga after that island nation was hit with a volcano eruption and a tsunami last month to enable isloated villages to get online.
“Because it isn’t limited by traditional internet infrastructure, Starlink can be deployed quickly in hard-to-reach areas and disaster situations,” Fox Business observed.
Musk publicly announced Starlink in January 2015. “Since then, the program has launched close to 2,000 satellites, with more planned. In the end, Musk wants to have several thousand satellites circling in low Earth orbit to communicate with all of Starlink’s ground transceivers,” Digital Trends explained.
Starlink is currently undergoing limited beta testing for customers in areas within 15 countries.
Musk purportedly has also vowed to come to the aid of the International Space Station. “Musk said his company SpaceX will rescue the International Space Station if Russia attempts to drop it from orbit after threats by Vladimir Putin’s space chief, just hours after activating Starlink satellites to guarantee internet access for people of Ukraine,” the Daily Mail reported.
“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States & Europe”
I think Elon is referring to this above (translation provided by Twitter).
So Elon answered: SpaceX
— tes.3m.21 (@tes1m211) February 26, 2022
Elon Musk is being praised as a real-life superhero and receiving other accolades on social media for activating Starlink for war-torn Ukraine. Here is a selection of the responses:
Real life superhero!
— ElenaRGV (@RgvElena) February 26, 2022
Elon Musk is Iron Man.
The West sees all conflict now as a 3 act comic book movie. https://t.co/8fuYq6lwWX
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) February 26, 2022
Pushes a button and changes the course of history. https://t.co/GGxrjI5OL6
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) February 27, 2022
I said in my remarks to @CPAC today that @elonmusk is one of the reasons America will ultimately prevail against #Russia and #China. Below is Exhibit A in support of my argument. #Ukraine #Freedom https://t.co/K4x9lAeLjQ
— Robert C. O’Brien (@robertcobrien) February 27, 2022
Also, a major example of how the national security burden is now shared with the private sector in fundamental and powerful ways.
— Klon Kitchen (@klonkitchen) February 27, 2022
Well this is quite something. One of the biggest fears among Ukrainians I’ve been speaking to is being completely cut off from the world while the worst attacks happens. https://t.co/uvpEz3Fw7C
— Bel Trew (@Beltrew) February 26, 2022
I started admiring you more when you turned power back on at the Children’s hospital in Puerto Rico after it was hit by a hurricane. Today that admiration has doubled. Thank you, you are awesome!
— Yogesh 🇮🇳 (@namesakeyogi) February 26, 2022
SpaceX donating starlink terminals means it’s now impossible for Russia to shut down the internet.
This keeps Pres Zelenskyy connected to Ukrainians and keeps Ukrainians connected to the world. It’s a monumental boon to their fight.
— Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore) February 26, 2022
When the world needs him most… Elon Musk always shows up! 🙂
— Matt Wallace (@MattWallace888) February 27, 2022
Elon Musk has done more to help Ukraine in one day than the entire Biden administration.
— thebradfordfile (@thebradfordfile) February 27, 2022
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