SpaceX reportedly received millions from the U.S. for its help in sending terminals for its Starlink internet service to Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.
The United States Agency for International Development paid for 1,333 terminals at $1,500 per terminal, as well as $800,000 in transportation fees for the terminals, totaling $3 million including other costs, according to The Washington Post. In a press release from USAID on April 6 that was later altered to exclude these details, SpaceX donated 3,667 Starlink terminals worth roughly $10 million; USAID purchased the additional 1,333, aerospace reported Joey Roulette tweeted on Wednesday.
The USAID press release now calls the donation a "public-private partnership" rather than a "private sector donation." It's currently unclear whether SpaceX sent Ukraine its standard terminals, which retail for $600, or its advanced terminals announced in February, which retail for $2,500, according to The Washington Post.
"The Starlink satellite terminals will enable unlimited, unthrottled data connectivity from anywhere in Ukraine," the altered press release reads. "The terminals will allow public officials and critical citizen service providers to continue to communicate within Ukraine and with the outside world."
USAID spokesperson Rebecca Chalif said in a statement to The Washington Post that the donation was "made possible by a range of stakeholders, whose combined contributions valued over $15 million and facilitated the procurement, international flights, ground transportation, and satellite Internet service of 5,000 Starlink terminals."
The donation was originally sparked by tweets from Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine and its minister of Digital Transformation, in late February asking SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to provide internet service to Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the country. Musk responded "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route." Starlink terminals first arrived March 1, with a second shipment arriving March 9.