Elon Musk’s drug use renders his character too questionable for FCC license, Ukrainian advocacy group says

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A SpaceX plan to gain access to new satellite spectrum territory might be backfiring.

Elon Musk’s reportedly “erratic behavior” and alleged illegal drug use calls into question whether SpaceX Starlink satellites should be allowed to continue operating—much less expand their footprint, according to scathing comments from the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA).

The group made the filing Wednesday in a Federal Communications Commission proceeding, which SpaceX had requested in February, seeking to open a satellite spectrum band to new users. On the contrary, UCCA argued, the FCC should probe SpaceX’s fitness to hold satellite licenses at all.

“At the heart of the matter is the Commission’s responsibility to ensure that any company which is granted the privilege of operating on public airwaves meets certain qualifications and serves the public interest,” Arthur Belendiuk, UCCA’s lead regulatory attorney, said in a statement.

One top-of-mind concern? The SpaceX founder and majority shareholder’s reported use of ketamine, LSD, cocaine, mushrooms, and ecstasy, detailed in a Wall Street Journal report. (Musk has denied the allegations, though he has acknowledged prescription ketamine use.)

(Under agency rules, licensees must act in the public interest and meet baseline “character qualifications.” The filing notes that in the 1970s, the FCC denied a license renewal application when the holder was “unable or unwilling to stop drug use.”)

The group also cited news reports that Musk denied a Ukrainian request to use the Starlink system to protect itself from the Russian invasion, and that the company doesn’t prevent the Russian military’s use of the satellite terminals.

“Offering military aid to Russia is just the tip of the iceberg in a pattern of repeated abuse of the Starlink system—behavior which demands an immediate FCC investigation,” Belendiuk added in the statement.

UCCA asked the FCC to hold a hearing on whether Musk is fit to remain a licensee and to revoke or restrict his direct access to the airwaves.

Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called UCCA’s comments “procedurally improper and substantively meritless.” In a Wednesday statement, he said the filing “repeatedly invokes laws and rules that have no application here” and it “should have never left the drafts folder.”

Starlink controlled 5,504 active satellites as of last month, and plans to launch up to 42,000 more, Space.com reported. SpaceX did not respond to Tech Brew’s request for comment by publication.

This report was initially published by Tech Brew.

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