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As a result of the Russian attacks, Ukraine faced periodic internet outages last week. However, with Starling satellites, the internet in Ukraine will be safe as these dishes are more reliable than land-based systems.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, the whole world is supporting Ukraine, providing any kind of assistance possible. On Saturday, Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov addressed Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on his Twitter, calling for help, and this help was provided immediately. Now, there are active Starlink satellites provided by SpaceX that could keep Ukraine online in case its internet infrastructure is damaged following the attacks.
@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.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
Less than 48 hours after Elon Musk said the company would send support, Mykhailo Fedorov shared a picture of the shipment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet dishes, saying “thank you” to Musk. The latter promised to provide more SpaceX Starlink terminals in order to expand the bandwidth in Ukraine.
Starlink — here. Thanks, @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/dZbaYqWYCf
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 28, 2022
According to Oleg Kutkov, Kyiv-based engineer, Starlink was working in Ukraine on Monday evening with download speeds of 137 megabits per second.
As a result of Russian attacks, Ukraine faced periodic internet outages last week. However, with Starling satellites, the internet in Ukraine will be safe as these dishes are more reliable than land-based systems. According to SpaceX, they are perfect for rural and remote communities.
Notably, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project, has warned that satellites could become a target for Russians. He wrote on his Twitter:
Re: @elonmusk's starlink donation.
Good to see.
But remember: if #Putin controls the air above #Ukraine, users' uplink transmissions become beacons… for airstrikes.
Some background 1/ pic.twitter.com/0p6J87TtUF
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) February 27, 2022
Further, he added that Russia already has experience of hitting people by targeting their satellite communications. In particular, John Scott-Railton was talking about Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev who was killed with a missile strike by Russian aircraft that found his satphone call and determined his location.
About Starlink Sattelites
Starlink satellites are representing a high-speed, low latency, broadband internet system across the globe. Unlike other satellites, SpaceX Starlink satellites operate in a lower orbit. That leads to faster speeds and better latency. Each satellite in the Starlink project weighs just 573 pounds (260kg). For orbit raising and station-keeping, Starlink satellites use Hall-effect thrusters with krypton gas as the reaction mass.
One Starlink terminal costs as much as $499. Starlink’s basic service is $99 a month. Its premium service will launch later this year and will cost $500 a month.
The first 60 Starlink satellites launched on May 23, 2019, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Notably, SpaceX is the only satellite operator with the ability to launch its own satellites as needed. As of early January 2022, SpaceX had launched more than 1,900 Starlink satellites overall. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to have as many as 42,000 satellites.