SpaceX can no longer finance the Starlink internet network in Ukraine

Elon Musk donated more than 25,000 Starlink devices to bring satellite internet to Ukraine amid the invasion.

He now he can not continue supporting the country.

US company SpaceX lacks the means to continue financing the Starlink internet network in Ukraine , its chief executive, Elon Musk , warned on Friday in a call for the US government to take on the task.

The discussions come at a time when the tycoon has been embroiled in public disputes with Ukrainian leaders angry over his controversial plan to de-escalate the conflict, which included recognizing Russian sovereignty over Crimea.

Starlink , a constellation of more than 3,000 small satellites in low-Earth orbit, has been vital to Ukraine ‘s communications in its fight against the Russian invasion, and some 25,000 ground terminals have been donated by SpaceX , according to an updated figure given by Musk last week. pass.

On Friday, the controversial businessman warned that the space company “(could not) continue to finance the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals (…). It is not reasonable.”

SpaceX , the billionaire noted, has already cost the company $80 million and the bill is expected to reach $100 million by the end of the year, he noted.

Musk assures that, except for a “small percentage”, all the deployment and maintenance costs of the Starlink terminals in Ukraine have been borne by SpaceX .

But the CNN network reported that SpaceX figures shared with the Pentagon show that around 85% of the first 20,000 terminals in Ukraine were partially paid for by countries such as the United States, Poland or other entities, which also paid for around 30%. of Internet connectivity.