China Angry at Elon Musk After SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites Nearly Collided with Its Space Station

SpaceX satellites nearly collided with China’s space station, according to the country. (Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP)

China’s space station has twice been forced to take evasive action to avoid colliding with small satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the country said in a United Nations complaint.

In incidents in July and October, SpaceX satellites drifted perilously close to China’s space station, potentially putting the “life or health of astronauts” on board in danger, China said in a note filed with the UN’s space agency in December.

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

The small satellites involved in the alleged incidents were among nearly 2,000 that have been launched by SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Services division. The service beams down internet to Earthbound customers in remote areas who have little access to traditional internet service providers.

China asked the UN to remind nations that have signed an international agreement  called the Outer Space Treaty, which includes 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.

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SOURCE: New York Post, Theo Wayt

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