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Elon Musk has promised to save The International Space Station (ISS) after a Russian official threatened to let it fall from orbit.
Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin posted a rant on Twitter amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He said the West's sanctions against his country's space program could cause some dire outcomes for the US.
Rogozin said: “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from uncontrolled deorbiting and falling into the United States."
He added: “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?”
Musk responded to the question of who will save the International Space Station with a picture of his company SpaceX's logo, implying he will step in if there are any issues.
When a Twitter user asked whether the tech billionaire meant he would use SpaceX to ensure the survival of The ISS he simply replied with a 'yes'.
This isn't the first time Musk has helped Ukraine following the recent invasion of Russia.
Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been seriously affected by the Russian invasion, with Reuters reporting that southern and eastern parts of the country – where fighting has been at its heaviest – have been particularly hit.
According to the news agency, while satellite technology is costly to deploy, it can provide internet for people who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and even cell towers cannot reach.
Yesterday (26 February), Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted Musk to call on his help.
Fedorov wrote: “@elonmusk, while you try and colonize Mars – Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space – Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022
The SpaceX billionaire later replied to confirm that the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service was now available in Ukraine, also saying that further terminals were ‘en route’.
He tweeted back: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”
Starlink is a space-based system of satellites that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world. It refers to its dishes as 'terminals'.
Earlier this year, Musk said SpaceX had 1,469 Starlink satellites active, along with 272 moving to operational orbits soon.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.
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