WASHINGTON — Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) plans to launch an investigation into SpaceX’s actions in Ukraine following new reports that Elon Musk blocked Ukrainian forces’ access to Starlink internet services.
The SASC said in a statement Sept. 14 that Reed decided to take this action “following public reports about the use of the Starlink system in Ukraine.”
The topic of Starlink’s crucial role in Ukraine was discussed in March at a SASC military space hearing, where Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) criticized SpaceX for the “discontinuation of full services at such a critical time for Ukraine’s self defense.”
The debate has been reignited with the recent release of a new Musk biography by Walter Isaacson who recounted how SpaceX’s boss thwarted Ukrainian forces by shutting off Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea — a territory occupied by Russia that Ukraine was fighting to reclaim.
Another SASC member, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) earlier this week also called for an investigation into the Starlink matter and a Defense Department review of its contractual relationship with SpaceX.