Elon Musk has rejected calls from ex-NASA astronaut Scott Kelly to boot up his Starlink internet system over Ukraine to help the armed forces.
Kelly tweeted Musk on Saturday, saying, “Ukraine desperately needs your continued support. Defense against a genocidal invasion is not an offensive ability. It’s survival. Innocent lives will be lost. you can help Thank you very much.’
It came after Musk’s company restricted Ukraine’s military access to Starlink, specifically for controlling drone-wielding grenades.
Musk was quick to respond to Kelly and on Sunday defended his caution about the increasing media coverage in the country.
“You are smart enough not to fall for the media and other propaganda. Starlink is the main source of communications for Ukraine, especially on the front lines, where almost all other internet connections have been lost.
“However, we will not contribute to the escalation of the conflict that could lead to World War III,” he wrote.
Musk defended the decision, saying SpaceX would not contribute to escalating the conflict that could lead to World War III
Ex-NASA astronaut Scott Kelly has urged Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, to expand his Starlink internet service in Ukraine
Kelly made the plea on Twitter, urging Musk to help Ukraine defend against a possible genocidal invasion after SpaceX restricted military access to Starlink
Last week, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell announced that the company was restricting Ukraine’s use of Starlink for military purposes, stating that the high-speed broadband was not designed for offensive or military operations.
Shotwell explained the service could be used for typical communications and humanitarian efforts, such as B. Connecting families and hospitals.
The service had allowed Ukrainians to benefit from uninterrupted, independent, and secure internet access while Russia was destroying the country’s telecommunications infrastructure, but Starlink satellites also became the only means of communication for Ukrainian forces on the front lines.
Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, praised Starlink last October
Starlink terminals are small, portable, have low power requirements and are almost impossible for Russia to jam – providing Ukraine with an ideal communications network
Drones deployed in the field can use the newly available Starlink to stay connected and provide information while internet and power outages plague Ukraine
In particular, Starlink satellites have helped Ukrainian military drones use anti-tank grenades to destroy Russian tanks and army trucks.
“Over 100 cruise missiles attacked the energy and communications infrastructure,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, last October.
“But with Starlink, we quickly reconnected in critical areas. Starlink continues to be an essential part of critical infrastructure.’
A month earlier, in September, Musk also tweeted that Starlink was for peaceful use only and the terms of service stipulated that the internet connections could not be used for military activities.
Musk also tweeted last September that Starlink is for peaceful purposes only
Last month, Musk stated that he was restricting Starlink use to Ukrainian drones
In fact, Starlink’s Terms of Service clearly states: “Starlink is not designed or intended for use with or in offensive or defensive weapons or other similar end uses.”
Musk has now restricted the use of Starlink antennas by the Ukrainian armed forces, with SpaceX taking steps to ensure Starlink antennas are not used to operate Ukrainian drones.
“A year of resistance & corporations must make a choice: Either they side & the right to liberty, and not look for ways to wreak havoc.
“Or they side with RF and their ‘right’ to kill and conquer territories. #SpaceX (Starlink) & Mrs. #Shotwell should choose a specific option,” tweeted Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in Shotwell on Feb. 9.
But Musk’s position seems clear and firm for now, as SpaceX maintains restrictions to prevent the Ukrainian military from using Starlink to pilot drones deployed in the conflict nearing its one-year anniversary.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asked SpaceX to choose sides in the war