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A war without SpaceX


As you know, the Ukrainian army is actively using drones to detect enemy positions to adjust and fire at military and strategic targets of the Russian army.

SpaceX has provided Ukraine with Starlink terminals that allow the military to stay in touch by connecting the terminals to the company's satellites in low Earth orbit. 

In addition, the US and French governments covered part of the cost of those terminals that went beyond the number privately funded by SpaceX.

However, the agreement that SpaceX signed with the Ukrainian government didn`t include the provision of the Internet for military use. The Internet itself was to be provided exclusively for humanitarian purposes. Therefore, SpaceX has taken measures to prevent the Ukrainian military from using Starlink satellite Internet to control drones in the region where the fighting occurs.

This was announced by SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell at a conference in Washington, D.C., according to Reuters.

The Starlink satellite internet system, which provided the Ukrainian military with communications to protect them from the Russian army, "was never intended to be used as a weapon," Shotwell said, "but the Ukrainians used it in a way that was unintentional and not part of any agreement.

According to her, the use of Starlink by drones was not included in the contract SpaceX had with the Ukrainian government. This contract included assistance for humanitarian purposes, such as providing internet to hospitals, banks, and families affected by the Russian invasion.

"We know the military uses them for communication, and that's fine. But we never wanted them to use it for offensive purposes," she said.

The journalists also asked whether the company could have foreseen that the Internet would be used for offensive purposes when it decided to provide the terminals. In turn, Shotwell replied: "We didn't think about that. I didn't think about it. Maybe our Starlink team did, I don't know. But we learned pretty quickly."