Elon Musk activates SpaceX Starlink service over Ukraine
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The Starlink app, designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, allows its users to access satellite-based internet services. Last month, the billionaire CEO stepped in to help Ukraine amid the Russian invasion by sending more SpaceX’s Starlink satellite stations to provide Internet connection for the country. Now, the Starlink app, which allows users to access the satellite constellation and gain internet connectivity, has become the most popular app in Ukraine.
Data shows the app has been downloaded in the region over 100,000 times in Ukraine, with global downloads more than tripling in the last two weeks.
Sensor Tower, an organisation providing data on the App Store and Google Play, said Starlink was downloaded more than 21,000 times globally on Sunday.
The company added that this broke the record of having the most global installs in a single day, with most of the downloads coming from Ukraine.
Starlink is the low-Earth orbit internet service SpaceX has been rolling out for the past several years.
It is a constellation of connected satellites which, in theory, will be able to provide high-speed internet to large swathes of the world.
The entire constellation is planned to have more than 4,000 satellites once completed.
Starlink differs from other satellite internet services because they are in low-Earth orbit rather than geostationary orbit, which allows them to provide faster internet speeds (because the signal doesn’t have to go as far).
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last month, internet outages have been steadily growing, with its effects even being felt in the capital city of Kyiv.
Last week, Britain’s Ministry of Defence warned the Kremlin is likely targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure.
During this period, one of Ukraine’s largest internet providers has been reportedly hacked several times, with experts believing that Russian state-sponsored hackers may be to blame.
Internet outages may have also been caused to collateral damage to infrastructure by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The multi-billionaire, who is also the CEO of Tesla, included Tesla Powerwalls in his care package that was shipped to Ukraine.
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The Tesla walls allow the solar/battery packs and generators are expensive Tesla Powerwalls, which are essentially intelligent home battery packs.
It comes after Mr Fedorov first publicly called on Mr Musk for help by providing the Starlink satellites which send internet signals to hard reach areas of the world.
The SpaceX CEO’s Starlink satellites arrived just two days later.
Mr Musk also announced that SpaceX updated its Starlink software “to reduce peak power consumption, so Starlink can be powered from a car cigarette lighter.”
He said: “Mobile roaming enabled, so phased array antenna can maintain signal while on moving vehicle.”
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