Elon Musk tweeted that the Starlink satellite service is now operational in Ukraine, in response to a request from Ukraine’s prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, to supply satellite-based to aid in the country's resistance to Russia's invasion.

“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.” Musk tweeted about 10 hours after the call for help.

On Monday, less than 48 hours after Musk’s tweet, a shipment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet dishes arrived in the country, confirmed by Fedorov, who posted a photo showing more than two dozen boxes of Starlink user kits in the back of a truck.

Kyiv-based Oleg Kutkov, one of the users who received access to a Starlink terminal, tweeted a screenshot of an internet speed test on Monday, saying he reached speeds over 200 Mbps for a while and thanked SpaceX for the company’s support.

How It Works: About 2,000 Starlink satellites have been launched into lower Earth orbit (LEO) by Musk’s SpaceX, expanding broadband coverage in remote parts of the world.

  • The satellites transmit massive volumes of data to any location on Earth, removing the need for fiber-optic cables.
  • When you plug in a Starlink dish - or terminal, as it’s formally known - it will automatically connect to the nearest Starlink satellite in the sky.
  • The satellite then interacts with the nearest ground station, or gateway, providing internet access. These gateways can be found all throughout the world, but they can't be too far away from where an internet connection is needed. Fortunately for Ukraine, there is a gateway in neighboring Poland.
  • The internet connection is routed through the gateway to the satellite and then to the terminal. Users simply plug their router into their terminal, and the tech does the rest.

How It Will Help Ukraine: The satellites will provide data links to areas of Ukraine that have lost internet access during the war. As a result of Russia's attacks on cities around Ukraine, areas of the country are experiencing internet outages. Russia's attacks on cities across Ukraine have caused internet outages in several areas of the country.

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