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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Rescues Ukraine’s Internet and May Save ISS

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Rescues Ukraine’s Internet and May Save ISS

Musk steps to the plate with essential tech support for assets threatened by Russia after its invasion didn’t go as swiftly as originally planned.

When the history of Russia’s detestable invasion of Ukraine is written, one of the leading figures is likely to be SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Musk is now providing free satellite-based internet service in Ukraine through his company Starlink, as Russia invades the nation and causes power outages.

Starlink is a growing network of small satellites that SpaceX has been building out since 2018 to supply broadband internet access around the globe. On Monday, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted that a truck full of Starlink terminals had arrived on Ukraine soil, after he had requested them.

…Invading Russian troops have disrupted Ukraine’s internet infrastructure, making service unreliable and spotty in parts of the country.

The Starlink service, which its website bills as being “ideal for rural and remote communities” and other locales where internet connections have historically been unavailable, is expected to be more reliable than land-based systems that are currently out of service.

Given that this conflict is, among other things, a war being waged in social media, the importance of secure internet access is cannot be overstated.

In other invasion-related technical developments, Russia’s space chief Dmitry Rogozin raised the prospect of pulling out of the partnership in the International Space Sanction in response to US sanctions, allowing the 400-ton structure to come crashing down to Earth. By way of background, While the US side of the ISS supplies power and life support, Russia is responsible for propulsion and keeping the station afloat.

NASA is scrambling to find ways to achieve “operational flexibility“.

Kathy Lueders, who heads the agency’s human spaceflight program, told reporters on a call that operations on the research platform were proceeding “nominally” and “we’re not getting any indications at a working level that our counterparts are not committed.”

“That said, we always look for how do we get more operational flexibility and our cargo providers are looking at how do we add different capabilities,” she continued.

Musk then offered to use SpaceX to help keep the ISS in orbit.

In a series of tweets, Rogozin suggested the ISS could plummet from orbit if Russia withdrew its cooperation from the joint effort.

“If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled de-orbit and fall into the United States or Europe?” Rogozin tweeted in Russian, according to a translation. “There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours.”

Musk replied to Rogozin’s thread with an image of the SpaceX logo – and later confirmed his firm would step in to assist if Russia withdrew its support in a way that endangered the space station.

There was a discussion on Twitter that showed how SpaceX resources could be used.

I would like to conclude with a little geek humor:

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Comments

Well I’m glad Elon can handle that matter. I sure don’t know how to.

henrybowman | March 1, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Delos D. Harriman.
With a godawful haircut.

Even for all that he is doing.. he still won’t be awarded “The Order of Biden”. Only Antifa, BLM and corrupt feds get that.

Imagine if NASA was tasked… delays and cost overruns would take forever.

The Gentle Grizzly | March 1, 2022 at 5:47 pm

Just another example of Big Tech interfering…

Thank you, Mr. Musk.

Whatever you think of Musk and his products, he’s become one of the most consequential entrepreneurs of the last 100-years. Satellite-based broadband will revolutionize communication likely in ways we can’t even imagine today. Did Musk invent it? Nope, just like he didn’t invent the electric car (Europeans beat him by more than 150-years; the electric car predates the Benz internal combustion engine vehicle by 30-years or more). But, he’s the first to go to market on a (soon to be) global scale delivering decent download bandwidth at a reasonable price. That’s an achievement.

    gibbie in reply to TargaGTS. | March 1, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    Like landing a rocket booster on its tail. He just didn’t understand that it couldn’t be done.

    I hope he has someone taste his food before he eats it.

He is falling into the serious people category recently.

I’d say his Bee interview was impressive.

Frezz in the hizzy | March 1, 2022 at 8:16 pm

Say what you want about Elon Musk, but hooking up Ukraine with satellite internet in 45 minutes is a boss move.

I suggest he offer to pay the travel expenses to Ukraine for all US war-hawk keyboard warriors and armchair generals who want us to intervene militarily.

So they can join Ukraine’s International Legion and help fight “the good fight” to save “democracy” in Ukraine. Or at least support it in country by providing logistical support or medical assistance (like emptying bed pans) in any way possible.

barbiegirl ny | March 2, 2022 at 9:55 am

This is amazing, and, once again, the private sector comes to the rescue!

I missed the part where the disconnected Russian part is returned to Russia!

healthguyfsu | March 2, 2022 at 3:25 pm

Elon has been winning big and triggering libs this cycle. He’s put down his chips against the Tom Steyer a-holes of this world.

I just hope he doesn’t run for POTUS…we need him doing important stuff in real life infrastructure.

I’ve gained a great deal of appreciation for Mr. Musk over the last 5 years. This is just the icing on a rather delicious cake.