SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, said in a letter to the US intelligence agency the Pentagon that it could no longer maintain communications services for its Starlink satellite network in Ukraine and asked for financial assistance. US Govt. The statement is in a document obtained by broadcaster CNN International.
According to that letter, SpaceX has already donated about 20,000 satellites to Ukraine, an operation that, according to Musk, posted on Twitter, has already cost the company’s coffers $80 million. The billionaire also took to the social network to say that by the end of the year, investments will exceed US$100 million (about R$525.8 million).
“We do not intend to make additional terminal contributions to Ukraine or to invest more than the existing ones indefinitely,” SpaceX’s letter to the Pentagon said. The document, signed by the technology giant’s director of government sales, was sent in September.
In another statement that CNN also had access to, Ukraine’s military commander, Gen. Valery Salushny, directly appealed to Musk in July for SpaceX to send about 8,000 satellites to the country.
In notifying the Pentagon of this request, a consultant hired by the company said SpaceX faced “very difficult decisions.” “I don’t think they have the ability to pay for any new satellites or services that General Salushni has requested,” the official said.
CNN’s disclosure of the documents comes as Ukraine attempts to retake Russian-held territory in the east and south of the country.
The conflict between the two countries began on February 24, and dozens of Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Kiev, were destroyed.
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