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Concept.png Starlink 
(technology,  internet,  satellite communications systemTwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by American aerospace company SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to over 56 countries.[1]


Starlink aimed for global mobile phone service after 2023. SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites in 2019. As of May 2023, Starlink consists of over 4,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers. In total, nearly 12,000 satellites are planned to be deployed, with a possible later extension to 42,000.[2] SpaceX announced reaching more than 1 million subscribers in December 2022 and 1.5 million subscribers in May 2023.[3]

The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington, houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and orbit control teams. The cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be at least US$10 billion. SpaceX expects more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025 from its satellite constellation, while revenues from its launch business were expected to reach $5 billion in the same year.[4]

Astronomers have raised concerns about the effect the constellation can have on ground-based astronomy and how the satellites will add to an already congested orbital environment. SpaceX has attempted to mitigate astronomy concerns by implementing several upgrades to Starlink satellites aimed at reducing their brightness during operation. The satellites are equipped with krypton or argon-fueled Hall-effect thrusters which allow them to de-orbit at the end of their life. Additionally, the satellites are designed to autonomously and smoothly avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data.[5]

War involvement


Musk, in 2022, was in talks with the Biden administration to deploy Starlink's network to Iran, possibly trying to support more protests causing civil unrest there. CNN quoted a senior official calling Musk a "loose cannon we can never predict".[6]


Following the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Musk, in March, tweeted that he was deploying Starlink, his company SpaceX’s satellite internet venture, to help keep Ukraine online. Starlink promises high-speed internet to remote locations where access is anywhere from unreliable to entirely unavailable. Starlink's receivers have been set up on hospitals, energy plants and companies, and more.[7] Musk was ostracised by The Washington Post as falsely claiming he, as a gesture, paid for Starlink deployment himself. The Biden administration actually paid for the deployment. The United States Agency for International Development or USAID omitted this after earlier publication from their report.[8][9]

In 2023, Walter Isaacson's biography "Elon Musk" revealed that Musk expressed concern about nuclear war after a conversation with Russian government officials and that he personally intervened to prevent Ukraine from carrying out a attack on Crimea by disabling all internet access for Ukrainian drones when he became aware of an impending attack on Russian targets in Crimea.

Musk disabled Starlink, which - with support from private donations and US taxpayer funding - has supplied Ukraine with thousands of Starlink terminals since February 2022.

According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Musk himself ordered Starlink engineers to deactivate the system causing the drones to "lose connectivity and wash ashore".[10] He then rejected a direct appeal from a top Ukrainian official to enable the system for future such attacks, according to Isaacson, and subsequently had "classified" talks with two Russian officials about this.[11] Chief operating officer of Starlink, Gwynne Shotwell, had admitted this earlier, but Musk determined all talk regarding this to be classified and had refused to comment, not explaining why he allowed this to be written in his biography.[12]

In his MOATS show of 10 September 2023, George Galloway said that Elon Musk had been added to the Myrotvorets hit list over the deactivation of the Starlink system in Ukraine.

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