Elon Musk said Monday that his company SpaceX withdrew a funding request Monday after reports surfaced that the Pentagon was considering paying for its Starlink satellite network.
Two U.S. officials told Politico that the Pentagon was considering paying for billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite network using money from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative fund, typically dedicated to weapons and equipment provision. Some reports recently stated that SpaceX can no longer afford to pay for Starlink in Ukraine.
The company initially donated the use of the Starlink network to Ukraine after Russia invaded the nation in February. It provides internet access without the requirement of ground-based wireless towers, making it a key factor for maintaining communications within the Ukrainian military.
In a letter to the Pentagon, SpaceX explained that the program would cost around $400 million over the course of the next year to keep running.
The Department of Defense was continuing conversations with Musk and his businesses Friday, while exploring other options for commercial satellite communications, Politico noted. Musk tweeted Monday that SpaceX had withdrawn its request for funding after seeming to go back and forth on the decision publicly in the days prior.
SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 17, 2022
Officials at the Pentagon reportedly said that they have little faith that Musk can be trusted, forcing them to consider other options. Ministers at the European Union also discussed options for funding Starlink, but all efforts to do so are still in the early stages, Politico noted. (RELATED: ‘Greatest Scam In Modern American History’: Daily Caller Reporter Kay Smythe Slams BLM)
Other than exceedingly high costs of operations, it is unclear why Musk’s company withdrew requests for funding. Shortly after doing so, he set up a donate button so members of the public could support the funding rather than the U.S. government.