In the United States, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren calls for an investigation of SpaceX after Elon Musk admits that he blocked the expansion of the Starlink satellite network for Ukraine’s attack on the Russian fleet off Crimea, writes Bloomberg.
“The Congress needs to investigate what’s happened here and whether we have adequate tools to make sure foreign policy is conducted by the government and not by one billionaire,” she said at the Capitol.
Elon Musk is expected to be among the tech executives attending a closed-door summit with senators at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Elizabeth Warren, who represents the Armed Services Committee, also calls on the US Department of Defense to review its contractual relationship with the company.
For his part, the chairman of this committee, Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, also expressed his concern about this problem. According to him, governments traditionally controlled satellites, and presidents decided what to do with them.
Meanwhile, he noted the positive changes when SpaceX reduced the cost of access to space, in particular for launches in the interests of national security.
“…but he can’t be the last word when it comes to national security,” he said of Musk.
As a reminder, the scandal surrounding Elon Musk and SpaceX erupted after the recent publication of an excerpt from the billionaire’s biography by Walter Isaacson. It says that Elon Musk secretly asked his engineers to shut down the Starlink network off the coast of Crimea and disrupted Ukraine’s attack on the Russian navy.
The billionaire denied the shutdown of the Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast in 2022. But he said he refused to activate the connection at Ukraine’s request.