Today marks 52 days since Russia invaded Ukraine. The ongoing war has affected millions of lives and destroyed critical infrastructures across the country, including communications systems. SpaceX founder Elon Musk donated thousands of Starlink terminals to enable Ukraine communities to have a reliable form of communication for safety operations, upon request from the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov.
SpaceX's Starlink internet service is assisting Ukrainian children with life-threatening illnesses to get to safety. The Starlink satellite constellation is enabling patients and hospital staff to communicate with humanitarian aid in neighboring European countries. This is possible thanks to a collaboration between SpaceX, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Shift4 Payments founder/SpaceX Inspiration4 commander Jared Isaacman.
Isaacman volunteered to deliver additional Starlink terminals and medical supplies to Ukraine health centers where St. Jude’s global alliance of partners are helping to relocate hundreds of ill Ukrainian children into Poland. “But inside that triage center, a converted hotel known as the Unicorn Center, doctors and other medical personnel have been hampered by a persistent problem: unreliable Internet service, making communication between partner organizations difficult if not impossible. It also prevented Ukrainian refugees received at the center from communicating with loved ones back home. In a matter of days, that problem was addressed through the efforts of Jared Isaacman,” said St. Jude in a press release. SpaceX Starlink is now helping health centers maintain reliable communication.
Isaacman is a St. Jude and ALSAC partner, he donated over $200 million to St. Jude as part of the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission, as well as a new campus at the Memphis, Tennessee, hospital. Isaacman purchased three more space voyages aboard SpaceX rockets as part of the 'Polaris Dawn' program that will test SpaceX technologies to advance human spaceflight and also benefit St. Jude.
"Jared is an incredible leader and humanitarian who believes deeply in the power of purpose, and continually uses his work and resources to benefit the world,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC. “It was no surprise to any of us that shortly after the war began, Jared was reaching out asking to help St. Jude in any way possible. By getting the Starlink systems to Poland and beyond, he’s provided critical communication in desperate times. Because of Starlink, our global partner teams can continue sharing lifesaving medical information and families can stay connected with their loved ones when so many are now separated in terrible ways.”
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.