Elon Musk company donates broadband internet to SPMC pediatric cancer center


DAVAO CITY—The pediatric cancer center at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here is the recipient of a high-speed Internet broadband from the company owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

SPMC announced that its pediatric cancer center called House of Hope and the entire compound of the SPMC were the recipients of two Starlink internet broadband by SpaceX owned by Musk.

The Space X is joined by non-government organization St. Jude Global to install the broadband link to the House of Hope Foundation for Kids with Cancer on Tuesday.

The SPMC was the first of five chosen St. Jude Global partners from all over the world (including Brazil, Chile, Mozambique and Peru) to receive the Starlink broadband from the Polaris Program, the SPMC said. Two Starlinks were installed at the SPMC; one for the House of Hope foundation and the other for the rest of the SPMC medical compound.

The turnover of high-speed broadband internet was “geared at providing greater access to online medical conferencing, case and image sharing, and diagnostic assistance for the SPMC.”

Patrick Celis, head of the city medical assistance program called Lingap para sa Mahihirap, said the local government “is grateful for the donation as good internet access will indubitably improve the efficiency of the operations of the SPMC, especially in information sharing and medical research.”

“We are very happy that the SPMC was chosen, especially the House of Hope because a lot of children will surely benefit,” Celis said.

House of Hope founding director Dr. Mae Dolendo and other SPMC doctors welcomed the donors and presided the turnover. St. Jude Global affiliates and patrons to the House of Hope foundation were also present during the event.

The entire crew of the Polaris Dawn Mission, including Mission Commander Jared Isaacman, Mission Pilot Scott Poteet, Mission Specialist Sarah Poteet, Mission Specialist and Medical Officer Anna Menon, personally delivered the Starlinks to the foundation.

The Polaris Dawn mission is a commercial space program of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or Space X, an American spacecraft manufacturer, launcher, and a satellite communications corporation headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.

Space X would launch the Polaris Dawn mission in July this year to try to break the record of the US space craft Gemini which logged an apogee high of 739.2 nautical miles (1,369.0 kilometers), with a planned apogee flight of 1,400 kilometers.

The company said in its website that the crew would conduct 38 science and research experiments to study the effects of spaceflight and space radiation on human health. It would also test Starlink’s communications laser for communication with another spacecraft, potentially improving connection with the spacecraft.

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