No connection with Elon Musk's starlink and missing Titan sub — here's why

Yes, OceanGate employs Starlink for its boats. However, not for submarine communication thousands of feet below sea.
Sade Agard
(Left to right) Elon Musk and an OceanGate submarine.
(Left to right) Elon Musk and an OceanGate submarine.

Getty Images/ Chesnot, Twitter  

Contrary to recent claims, multiple reliable sources, including scientists, have debunked the notion that OceanGate's missing submersible, engaged in a Titanic wreckage exploration, depended on Elon Musk's SpaceX-operated Starlink satellites for communication. 

At the time of writing, an alarming situation unfolds as the vessel carrying five individuals faces an imminent depletion of oxygen reserves, expected to occur at 07:08 ET on Thursday, June 22. 

As the frantic search and rescue efforts continue, it's important to note that the extreme depths involved in the sub's operation make it impossible for Starlink to serve as a viable communication link.

Why Starlink has no connection to the mission Titan sub

In a recent Snopes article, an intriguing topic emerged: OceanGate's utilization of Starlink for internet access while at sea. This has led some individuals to make a bizarre leap in logic, suggesting that Starlink (and Elon Musk himself) could be held responsible for the disappearance of the Titan submarine solely because it lost contact with its above-sea support vessel. However, let's delve into the reality behind this unfounded connection.

"Was the missing titanic submersible relying on satellites from Elon Musk's SpaceX to communicate?" prompted the Snopes article, rating the claim as 'true' with a huge green check mark. 

When Snopes shared the article on Twitter, it didn't take long for the blue-check Twitter accounts for chiming in through the community notes feature, swiftly adding much-needed context. Musk tweeted, "You can't even run a good psy op."

"There is no such thing as internet service several miles underneath the f****** ocean. Snopes is as viciously partisan and 'fake' as any conspiracy subreddit I've ever encountered," wrote "disinformation researcher" Mike Solana.

Since then, Snopes has made updates to the post, explicitly addressing the claims related to the submersible's usage of Elon Musk's SpaceX-operated Starlink satellites rather than focusing on whether OceanGate, the company behind the vessel, utilized them. Notably, the original article now prominently displays a large red 'false' cross mark.

OceanGate Expeditions clarified that they did not claim to use internet communication with the sub. However, they rely on internet connectivity for their surface vessels, like the mothership, which assists navigation and communication during expeditions.

The details regarding how the mothership utilizes Starlink technology during the expedition remain unknown.

Scientists have emphasized that the submersible's communication with the surface vessel would have been through an acoustic link, making it highly unlikely for satellite internet, like Starlink, to be involved.

Unfortunately, this crucial communication link appears to have been disrupted during the expedition, resulting in the current mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Titan. Therefore, this issue has no connection to SpaceX, Starlink, or Elon Musk.

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