Russia set a huge precedent in motion this week with its Ukraine invasion. After the country suggested the International Space Station (ISS) could be veered into the Earth, Elon Musk intervened and said SpaceX would protect against it.
Days ago, Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested on Twitter the ISS could come crashing down to Earth. The statement came after the United States announced new sanctions against the country. When translated, it reads “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?” Saturday, Musk responded with an image: the SpaceX logo.
President Biden said Thursday the “strong sanctions” will degrade Russia’s aerospace industry, which includes their space program. This prompted Rogozin to tweet about it numerous times, claiming these sanctions could have severe consequences. One consequence concerned the ISS and how the country would “destroy” international cooperation related to it.
The threats weren’t limited to the United States and Europe either. Another of Rogozin’s tweets reads “There is also the option of dropping a 500-ton structure to India and China. Do you want to threaten them with such a prospect? The ISS does not fly over Russia, so all the risks are yours. Are you ready for them?”
A Twitter user directly responded and asked Musk if he was saying SpaceX would intervene, to which he replied “Yes.” NASA also provided a statement to Euronews about the threat. In it, NASA said it “continues working with Roscosmos and our other international partners in Canada, Europe, and Japan to maintain safe and continuous ISS operations.”
Elon Musk Reports Starlink is Active in Ukraine
Elon Musk’s remarks about Russia and the ISS come after issuing aid to Ukraine. After the country asked him for help with Starlink satellites, he obliged the request.
Fox News discussed the story, saying SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are now active in Ukraine. Several Ukrainian cities are experiencing disruptions, such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson, and the capital city of Kyiv. When Russia began its invasion, it also began cyber attacks against the Ukrainian government and critical infrastructure.
This led Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov to ask Musk on Twitter for assistance. Within 10 hours, Musk responded with a tweet saying “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
Starlink is a network of nearly 2,000 active satellites in low-Earth orbit. The system works by connecting users with terminals from around the planet with high-speed broadband internet. As evidenced by Musk’s quick response time, the network is quite versatile and is proving great to use in emergencies. He also provided relief to Tonga after its huge undersea volcanic eruption last month.