Elon Musk is angry.
CEO of Tesla (TSLA) And SpaceX is used to controlling communications in everything that matters to him.
He’s always in control of whether it’s electric car maker Tesla, SpaceX or its tunneling company The Boring Company.
Basically, Musk is responsible for the Musk brand.
So it is not surprising to see the richest man in the world not feel happy when he does not dictate the account of events for him and his companies.
This is what just happened with Ukraine.
CNN revealed on October 13 that SpaceX had written to the Department of Defense (DoD) advising it that if the government did not back some of Starlink’s funding to Ukraine, the company would cut off this much-needed service.
The media in particular said it had recourse to a letter sent by the head of SpaceX in September.
“We are not in a position to donate stations to Ukraine, or fund existing stations for an indefinite period of time,” SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote in a letter to the Pentagon, CNN reported.
The revelation comes at a time when the billionaire is seen in Ukraine and around the world as a hero for providing this service to Ukrainians who are defending their country against the Russian invasion.
Starlink is especially used by civilians in areas under attack by Russia and in areas where communications infrastructure has been destroyed. Government officials and armed forces use the service on the ground because it is safe.
On October 7, Musk said that providing Starlink in Ukraine “has cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.” The figure could reach $400 million for the next 12 months.
The disclosure also comes at a time when relations between Musk and Ukraine have been fragile after a controversial peace plan presented by the billionaire on October 3 was widely criticized by Ukrainians, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Corruption at its best
“It is strange that nothing has been leaked about our competitor in space launch and communications, Lockheed [Martin] & Boeing, which is getting more than $60 billion…” in US defense contracts, Musk said on Twitter on October 14.
The tech mogul is clearly hinting that the leaks came from the Pentagon and were intended to harm him and SpaceX. If we believe it, it will be a smear campaign. He adds that he seems to know the author of the leaks. He would be someone who would identify as a man according to Musk.
The person is said to have acted out of self-interest, and Musk notes that he would not be surprised that once the individual leaves the Pentagon they go to work for Boeing or Lockheed Martin.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if you find this particular person working there [at Boeing or Lockheed Martin] When he retired from the Department of Defense,” the billionaire hinted.
At the moment he makes serious accusations: “Corruption at its best.”
Basically, the serial entrepreneur, who plays the main roles in the conquest of space, believes that the Pentagon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are eating from each other’s hands. According to him, there will therefore be a conflict of interest. However, Musk does not provide evidence to support his claims.
“We don’t have anything to share,” a Boeing spokesperson told TheStreet.
SpaceX vs Boeing
The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin did not respond to requests for comment.
Spending on defense contracts totaled $408.4 billion in fiscal 2021, down $40.3 billion from 2020, according to Bloomberg. Lockheed Martin, with contracts worth $40.2 billion, and Boeing, $22.1 billion, are the Pentagon’s largest suppliers.
SpaceX is not among the top ten, which mainly includes defense groups, pharmaceutical and biotechnology groups such as Pfizer (PFE) Moderna (mRNA) humana (hmmm) And Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (Region) . There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic explains the existence of major pharmaceutical companies.
SpaceX and Boeing are competitors in transporting astronauts to outer space. Until last May, Musk, through SpaceX’s Dragon crew, had a monopoly on transporting humans to the International Space Station (ISS) after NASA decided to stop using the Russians and Soyuz.
But the Starliner, a space capsule developed by Boeing, successfully completed a mission last May, giving SpaceX some competition.
It should be noted that there was no human on board the Starliner. Instead she was a model.