SpaceX, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, has said in a letter to the US intelligence agency the Pentagon that it can no longer maintain the communications services of the Starlink satellite network in Ukraine and has requested financial assistance. The US government to ensure that the signal is not interrupted. The statement was made in a document obtained by broadcaster CNN International.
According to the letter, SpaceX has already donated about 20,000 satellites to Ukraine, which has already cost the company’s coffers $80 million, according to Musk, who posted on Twitter. The billionaire said on the social network that by the end of the year, the investment could exceed US$ 100 million (about R$ 525.8 million).
“We are not in a position to make more terminal donations to Ukraine or invest more in existing ones indefinitely,” SpaceX’s letter to the Pentagon said. The document was signed by the technology company’s government sales director and sent in September.
In another report, which CNN also had access to, General Valerii Zaluzhniy, Ukraine’s military chief, made a direct request to Musk in July for SpaceX to send nearly 8,000 satellites to the country.
When told of the request to the Pentagon, a consultant hired by the company said SpaceX faced “very difficult decisions.” “I don’t think they have the capacity to finance the new satellites or services that General Zaluzhniy requested,” the official said.
The documents were released by CNN as Ukraine attempts to retake Russian-controlled areas in the east and south of the country.
The conflict between the two countries began on February 24 and has destroyed dozens of Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kiev.
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