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Starlink delivers 5,000 terminals to Ukraine; loses license in France

Capitalism in space: Starlink today continued its aggressive support for the Ukraine in its war with Russia by delivering another 5,000 terminals to that beleaguered country.

Space reporter Joey Roulette tweeted Wednesday that the majority of the terminals — 3,667, to be exact — as well as the associated internet service were donated directly by SpaceX at a cost of “roughly $10 million,” with USAID purchasing the remaining 1,333 terminals. These numbers apparently came from an earlier version of the USAID release; the updated release doesn’t give dollar figures and refers only to 5,000 Starlink terminals donated by a public-private partnership.

Roulette also suggested in another tweet that France and Poland had made contributions to the Starlink shipments to Ukraine, citing an earlier conversation with SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell. The USAID announcement only refers to the American partnership, however.

In a second story today, however, Starlink lost its ability to provide service in France, when a court ruled its license had been issued improperly.

France’s Conseil d’État ruled April 5 that French telecoms regulator ARCEP should have launched a public consultation before authorizing Starlink in February 2021.

“In law, they should normally cease [providing services] immediately, pending ARCEP’s public consultation” following the court’s decision, a Conseil d’État spokesperson told SpaceNews.

The court case was apparently instigated by two French environmental groups, who are demanding more regulations against the large satellite constellations.

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  • John

    Somebody please explain to me how receiving internet in france hurts the environment. By “environmental groups” did you mean political extortion groups? Just asking a question, signed the public. We can still ask questions, right? Didn’t think so.

    I’d put money that their environmental groups are at least talking to our environmental groups if not run by the same people.

  • Cotour


    I posted a story about the fact that windmill generation in fact kills millions of birds and that apparently is “Good”. The facts of the story stand alone and are what they are. One of my Liberal friends responded to my email:

    “Our way of life is destructive. No question about it. We need to continue working towards minimizing our destruction. It has to be an ever-evolving effort.”

    And also included this article about oil: file:///C:/Users/jgl35/Downloads/GulfWildlifeReport_2011%20(1).pdf

    And this was my response:

    “One is not better than the other, its all not ideal. Are you arguing that the windmills that are “Clean” energy are worth the tradeoff? Everything stands on its own, and everything has its costs. These are all examples of unintended consequences and the trade offs that are made everyday so that the government can grow bigger and bigger so it can “take care of us all”. Isn’t that how it goes?

    But as long as someone some place feels good about something, it’s all apparently worthwhile? Boiled down, the government is usually the problem and not the solution. Government is always a blunt instrument at best.”

    The response:

    “I’m arguing that one should never let perfect get in the way of good. We should always be moving toward the best we can do. It’s not about feeling good. It’s about constantly working towards being less self serving and destructive. So we destroy less things. ”

    My response:

    “I cannot argue with that, once again we agree. That being so then you might have just accepted by message about the windmills and not had a need to proselytize.

    Proselytize.: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another:”

    I await a next response, but there really is none to be rationally had.

    In these times of desperation for the Ukrainians the French are throwing a procedural monkey wrench into their communication abilities and existential survival? Typical.

    Musk really puts his money where his mouth is. Two thumbs up Elon.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Satellite s have no effect on the environment. This is not about the environment at all.

  • JhonB

    You guys are not seeing the environmental damage that the cardboard boxes the Starlink dishes cause. And then there is the gas in the truck that delivers them. I think it would be better to lay miles and miles of cable and cut down trees for telephone polls.

  • Col Beausabre

    Let’s cut to the bottom line, folks, Starlink ain’t French.

    (or part of the ESA, which is the same thing. France loves the EU as it thinks that it and Germany, instead of the vile “Anglo-Saxons” of the Anglosphere, will run Europe through it)

  • Col Beausabre

    “Environmental damage?”

    Thinking about it, rockets use hydrocarbons (“fossil fuels!”) as fuel instead of electricity (let’s get those electro-magnetic mass drivers flinging satellites into orbit! Which does open the question of how the juice is generated. In France a lot of it, quel horreur!, is generated from nuclear, totally beyond the pale and not even worth the slightest consideration according to most environmentalists I have ever talked to)’

    Or you get the “Boca Chica BS” (you have a label free of charge, Bob) of “damage” to wetlands or wildlife (Seventy years of experience at the Cape to the contrary)

    Last, there are the possible effects on ground based astronomy at visible wave lengths of satellite constellations (Despite the fact it has been obvious for a quarter century that future observatories should be in space, that “breaks too many rice bowls”)

  • Edward

    You asked: “We can still ask questions, right? Didn’t think so.

    You may have to file an environmental impact report before getting permission to ask questions. Maybe one report for each question. Also, the FAA, Department of the Interior, Corps of Engineers, and other federal, state, and local agencies may have to be involved for approvals. Expect month for month delays, too. Good luck with your Starship, questions, and launch pads.

    Welcome to Obama’s fundamentally transformed America, land of the formerly free.

    Let’s Go Brandon!

  • From the link, Starlink was authorized in Feb 2021. Presumably there are customers. What happens to them?

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