Senate Investigation Into Starlink Operations in Ukraine

The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee plans to launch an investigation into SpaceX’s operations in Ukraine following reports that Elon Musk blocked Ukrainian forces’ access to Starlink services. Elon Musk, according to biographer Walter Isaacson, shut off the Starlink satellite network over Crimea which Ukraine was fighting to reclaim. SpaceX initially provided services to Ukraine at its own expense but had recently received a DoD contract to provide it’s services to Ukraine. The U.S. Space Force has recently set a goal to rely on a hybrid network of commercial and military satcom systems. This investigation could have a large impact on how future DoD contracts with commercial satellite system providers are negotiated. The SpaceX reports also highlight a serious security concern in the commercial sector if services to military organizations can be shut off so easily.