Friday, September 23, 2022

Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Internet Service is Active in Ukraine


Elon Musk has announced that SpaceX’s Starlink internet service is now available in Ukraine, amidst persistent internet disruptions in the country. The conflict-hit nation has seen Russian troops advancing and missiles hitting key infrastructure, resulting in widespread internet outages.

Throughout Ukraine, internet access has been disrupted by the invasion, though the degree wasn’t immediately clear on Saturday. On Friday, connectivity to Ukraine’s major internet provider was cut by 20%, according to internet monitors, who added that it was unclear how much of this was due to Ukrainians fleeing their homes.

On Saturday, a Ukrainian government official asked Musk if he would provide additional Starlink stations to the country. Elon Musk tweeted that SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service “is now active in Ukraine,” with “more terminals en route.”

Elon Musk responded within 10 hours, saying he’d granted the request. It was unclear how widely available the Starlink service would be in Ukraine.

Elon Musk says SpaceX’s internet service is available in Ukraine, sending more terminals

Starlink’s long-term goal is to provide faster internet around the world, starting with increasing internet access in areas that don’t have it now.

A satellite dish attached to or near a person’s property allows individuals to connect to the internet. The internet is transmitted down to the dish via a network of SpaceX-launched Starlink satellites and terrestrial stations.

What is SpaceX’s Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite internet service created by SpaceX, designed to provide high-speed broadband internet access to areas of the world that lack reliable connectivity. The company has been sending out thousands of small satellites into low Earth orbit in an effort to create a global network.

According to Reuters, Musk and SpaceX gave 50 Starlink terminals to the island nation of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean to provide free internet access to reconnect remote communities devastated by a massive volcano eruption and tsunami in January. The Starlink terminals will aid with communication restoration efforts in some of the hardest-hit areas as a result of the natural disaster.

Since the start of 2019, the company has launched over 2,000 of the constellation’s satellites. The system is projected to have a maximum of 14,000 nodes in its early form. On Friday (Feb. 25), SpaceX fired 50 new Starlink satellites into space from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, as it continues to build its global network.

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