Elon Musk and SpaceX have asked the U.S. Defense Department to take over funding his Starlink satellite network, which has provided battlefield communications for the Ukrainian military during the war with Russia, a U.S. official said.
The official confirmed that the Pentagon received a communication from SpaceX about Starlink, but said the Pentagon was still weighing how to proceed and had not made any decisions.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, after initially declining to confirm that the Defense Department had received a letter or to otherwise characterize the communication, said it had "received correspondence from SpaceX about the funding of Starlink."
"We remain in communication with SpaceX about this and other topics," Singh added in a statement.
Musk’s Starlink is a low-orbit satellite constellation that provides internet service and has been crucial in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February. Musk, the founder of the electric car company Tesla, tweeted Friday that providing Starlink cost his company $20 million a month and that he has already spent $80 million on the effort, while also putting his company at risk from Russian cyberattacks.