- China complained to the UN that Elon Musk’s Space X satellites had two close encounters with its space station in the recent past.
- According to the report, on October 21, the Starlink-2305 satellite had a close encounter with the China Space Station.
According to a document, China complained to the UN that Elon Musk’s Space X satellites had two close encounters with its space station in the recent past, forcing it to take evasive action to avoid collisions.
The satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21, according to a document submitted by China earlier this month to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).
“On July 1, 2021, the Starlink-1095 satellite and the China Space Station had a close encounter. “In the evening of that day, the China Space Station took the initiative to conduct an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft,” China said in a document posted on the UN space agency’s website.
According to the report, on October 21, the Starlink-2305 satellite had a close encounter with the China Space Station.
“Because the satellite’s manoeuvre strategy was unknown and orbital errors were difficult to assess, a collision risk existed between the Starlink-2305 satellite and the China Space Station.”
On the same day, the China Space Station performed another evasive manoeuvre to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft, ensuring the safety and lives of in-orbit astronauts.”
According to the document, Beijing completed five launch missions in 2021, including the successful launch into orbit of the Tianhe core module of the China Space Station.
It was also stated that the space station is in a stable near-circular orbit at an altitude of around 390 kilometers and an orbital inclination of about 41.5 degrees.
Chinese citizens have taken to social media platforms to criticize SpaceX founder Elon Musk in response to these allegations.
According to Reuters, one user on China’s Weibo microblogging platform described Starlink’s satellites as “just a pile of space junk,” while another called them “American space warfare weapons.”
“The risks of Starlink are gradually being exposed, and the entire human race will pay for their business activities,” a Weibo user named Chen Haiying said.
SpaceX has yet to respond to the incidents, according to China. According to CGTN, no other agency has confirmed the near misses, and these close encounters “posed a risk to astronauts aboard the China Space Station’s life or health.”