SpaceX Reportedly Asking the U.S. to Take Over Paying for Starlink in Ukraine

Citing leaked documents obtained by CNN, the folks over Tesla North are reporting that SpaceX is asking the U.S. government to take over paying for Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine.

Starlink pivot mount

SpaceX has donated more than 20,000 Starlink satellite internet kits to Ukraine in an effort to help the nation that’s under attack from Russia stay connected, amid communication networks being destroyed in the country.

According to the documents, SpaceX says it will cost over $120 million to keep Starlink in Ukraine for the rest of the year, while the next 12 months may cost nearly $400 million.

In response to the CNN story, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted to Tesla follower @SawyerMerritt that, “SpaceX is not asking to recoup past expenses, but also cannot fund the existing system indefinitely.” Data usage from Starlink in Ukraine is “up to 100x greater than typical households,” added Musk.

Musk added that SpaceX is burning about $20 million USD per month for Starlink in Ukraine.

Back in September, SpaceX’s director of government sales said in a letter to the Pentagon “We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.”

The letter from SpaceX to the Pentagon says roughly 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid for, or partially paid for by the U.S., Poland or other groups, which also covered 30% of the internet cost.