China says SpaceX satellites nearly collided with space station

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China’s space station has twice been pressured to take evasive motion to keep away from colliding with small satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the nation mentioned in a United Nations criticism. 

In incidents in July and October, SpaceX satellites drifted perilously near China’s space station, probably placing the “life or health of astronauts” on board at risk, China mentioned in a observe filed with the UN’s space company in December.

“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” China mentioned. 

The small satellites concerned within the alleged incidents have been amongst nearly 2,000 which have been launched by SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Services division. The service beams down web to Earthbound prospects in distant areas who’ve little entry to conventional web service suppliers. 

China requested the UN to remind nations which have signed a world settlement  referred to as the Outer Space Treaty, which incorporates the US, that they “bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space … whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities,” the South China Morning Post reported. 

“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” China mentioned. 
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Chinese state media pounced on the alleged incidents, with authorities newspaper the Global Times writing on Monday that SpaceX may very well be trying to “test China’s sensibility in space.” 

SpaceX didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. 

The alleged incidents have sparked anger on Chinese social media websites, with one Weibo person calling SpaceX’s satellites “just a pile of space junk” and one other describing them as “American space warfare weapons.”

“The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities,” one offended Chinese social media person wrote.

“The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities,” a 3rd person wrote. 

Musk’s different company, Tesla, additionally confronted scrutiny in China this April after a disgruntled buyer staged a protest over the security of the company’s electrical automobiles that was shared broadly on social media. Tesla later apologized to the client. 

As Tesla has sought to push into the Chinese market in recent times, Musk has lavished reward on the nation regardless of tensions with the US. 

But again in 2015, the Tesla CEO was extra blunt about China posing a menace to his ambitions in space. 

Speaking a few hypothetical scenario wherein SpaceX’s Starlink satellites beamed uncensored web into China, Musk mentioned the Chinese authorities may shoot down his satellites. 

“If they get upset with us, they can blow our satellites up, which wouldn’t be good,” Musk said. “China can do that. So probably we shouldn’t broadcast there.”

With Post wires

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