American billionaire Elon Musk said that the Internet service via the Starlink satellite owned by his company, SpaceX, has been activated in Ukraine, after an official in Kiev urged the technology giant to provide stations for that service to his country, which is under Russian invasion.
“Star Link services have started operating in Ukraine, and there are more stations on the way to you,” Musk said in a tweet posted on his account on the social networking site Twitter.
The tweet came ten hours after Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, demanded that the owner of StarLink provide satellite Internet services to his country.
And the Ukrainian minister wrote a tweet on his Twitter account, in which he said, addressing Elon Musk: “While you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine. While your missiles successfully reach space, Russian missiles are attacking Ukrainian civilians. So we ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations.”
Fedrov also called on the US billionaire to address “sane people in Russia to stand up” against the Kremlin-led Russian invasion.
Internet watchdog NetBlocks said Ukraine had experienced “a series of widespread internet outages” since last Thursday, when Russia’s invasion of the country began.
The Star Link project operates a group of satellites, more than 2000 satellites, with the aim of providing Internet services on the ground.
The company launched 50 new satellites into space last Friday, with more of them being prepared for launch into Earth orbit.
How did the Starlink project start?
SpaceX launched the Starlink project in mid-2019, and the project began with a successful launch of about 60 satellites. The number of satellites operating under the project has now exceeded 2,000.
The company aims to launch about 12,000 satellites for its satellite internet project.
Each satellite weighs 227 kilograms, has a number of high-performance antennas and one solar array, according to statements made by the project director general in May 2019.
The platforms contain electric thrusters, which form a system that ejects electrically charged particles of krypton to provide thrust.
The engine raises the Starlink network from a height of 440 km at the landing point to 550 km at the operating point, according to these statements.
The propulsion system also works to keep the satellite in its correct place in the sky, and to lower it after completing its mission.
Musk said that the design of the newly launched Starlink network is not new, and that subsequent platforms will be of higher specifications, including for example cross-links between the satellites to each other.
Asenha added, it was “one of the most difficult engineering projects I’ve ever seen” and warned that many could see errors in the early stages of the launch process.
Late last year, China complained that its space station had to maneuver to avoid a collision with one of the satellites of the Starlink project.
Beijing indicated that its space station was twice exposed to the possibility of collision with satellites belonging to the Star Link project.
According to a document sent by China to the United Nations Space Agency, the two accidents occurred on July 1 and October 21, the past.
And in the document published on the agency’s website, “the Chinese space station carried out customary maneuvers, to prevent collision, for security reasons.”
However, the agency was unable to independently verify the veracity of the events in the Chinese complaint.
China has also accused the United States of endangering the lives of astronauts by not complying, Beijing says, with the terms of international agreements on the use of space.
But Elon Musk rejected the accusations against the Star Link project to provide Internet services via satellite, which indicate that it uses large areas of space.
Musk said in an interview with the British Financial Times newspaper, in December: 2021, that “tens of billions of satellites can be placed in close orbits around the globe.”
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