China has complained to the UN about the risk of Elon Musk’s satellites colliding
- BBC News World
China has complained to the United Nations after its space station was forced to avoid two collisions with satellites launched by billionaire businessman Elon Musk’s Starling project.
This year the Chinese station held two “close encounters” with the Starling satellites, an Internet hosting company operated by SpaceX, also owned by Musk.
The incidents reported by Beijing to the United Nations (UN) space agency have not been independently verified.
The incidents took place on July 1 and October 21, according to documents submitted by China to the UN.
“For security reasons, the Chinese space station imposed a curfew to avoid collisions,” Beijing said in a statement.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.
Following the news of the incident, Musk, Starling and the United States received rave reviews on the Chinese social networking site Weibo.
“The dangers of Starling are gradually being exposed. All human beings will pay for their economic activities,” one user said.
China has also accused the United States of endangering astronauts by neglecting space contract obligations.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was urging the United States to act responsibly.
Scientists have expressed their concern about the dangers of space collisions and called on world governments to share information about the 30,000 satellites and other space debris orbiting the Earth.
SpaceX has already launched nearly 1,900 satellites as part of its Starling network to provide low-cost Internet and plans to put thousands more into orbit.
Last month NASA postponed a last-minute spacewalk from the International Space Station due to the risk of colliding with space debris.
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