Space

Congress Wants Musk to Explain Satellite Block in Taiwan – Forbes

 

US lawmakers have warned Elon Musk in writing that his SpaceX company could be in “breach of its contractual obligations with the US government” by failing to provide SpaceX’s StarShield military-specific internet service to American defence forces in Taiwan, according to Forbes, which noted that the Pentagon is paying “tens of millions of dollars” for communications and imagery provided via the group’s over 5,000 low-earth orbit satellites.

Lawmaker Mike Gallagher, chair of a select committee on China, said he understood SpaceX may be “withholding broadband internet services in and around Taiwan”, and stressed that a “robust communication network for US military personnel on and around Taiwan is paramount for safeguarding US interests in the Indo-Pacific,” as they could be at severe risk in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, and China has cut the island’s underwater cables. The report also noted that Musk has close ties with Beijing because Tesla has a major factory there and has made pro-Beijing statements, which have led to Taiwan beginning work on a satellite system of its own.

Read the full report: Forbes.

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.

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