We previously noted in one of our “On a lighter note” stories, the Pentagon was forced to sheepishly admit to having been leasing capacity on a Chinese communications satellite to allow its troops in Africa good communications via a $10.7 million contract. It was especially embarrassing given that China has been identified possible foe in the Pacific region given that China continues to make claims to several disputed islands there.
As a result of their embarrassment, the US Department of Defence (DoD) has now announced that it is to end its controversial lease of capacity on Apstar 7, a communications satellite in May. The satellite is owned by APT Satellite Holdings which is, in turn, majority owned by the Government of China via the state-owned China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp. Space News reports that the DoD has been moving is services of the satellite to other satellites and that this should be completed in May.
The Pentagon offices of the US DoD. Courtesy: wikipedia