Science

China files complaint against SpaceX and Elon Musk: “our station almost had two accidents with its satellites this year” – Newsmonkey

China has grown tired of the countless satellites SpaceX sends into space for its Starlink internet service. She takes action and files a complaint. The words Beijing uses are strong, those of its citizens even stronger.

China began assembling its new space station last April, with the launch of its main module, Tianhe. The station should be ready for operation by the end of 2022 … if all goes well. In fact, Beijing has announced that its device has no longer reached the SpaceX satellites twice this year. Incidents that occurred on July 1 and October 21.

Therefore, China filed a complaint with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

In the first incident, the Starlink satellite went from an orbital altitude of approximately 555 km to 382 km from May 16 to June 24. According to a document published on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, this drop in altitude resulted in a “risk of collision” between the satellite and the space station on July 1. According to the Chinese document presented to the UN, the Chinese space station carried out an “avoidance maneuver” to “avoid a possible collision between the two spacecraft.”

The second incident, on October 21, also required the Chinese space station to perform an “avoidance maneuver” to avoid colliding with a Starlink satellite. “As the satellite maneuvered continuously, the maneuvering strategy was unknown and orbital errors were difficult to assess, therefore there was a risk of collision between the Starlink-2305 satellite and the Chinese space station,” said China’s permanent mission to the United Nations. United.

Satellites labeled “American space warfare weapons”

In its complaint, China asked the UN secretary general to remind states that they have international responsibility for national activities in space, in accordance with the UN treaty on outer space. This includes activities carried out by governmental and non-governmental organizations.

In the process, Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, was inundated with highly critical comments about Elon Musk, the BBC reports. One user described the Starlink satellites as “just a bunch of space junk.” The satellites are “America’s space warfare weapons” and “Musk is a new ‘weapon’ created by the United States government and military,” others have denounced.

“The risks of Starlink are gradually exposed, the entire human race will pay for their commercial activities,” commented another Chinese netizen.

So far, Elon Musk is doing quite well in China, through Tesla. He has never been stingy in compliments on the Chinese system. However, his car company is the subject of increasing attention from Chinese regulators, and although SpaceX is another company, this complaint seems more of a bad omen for the future of its activities on the site.

Note that neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk have officially reacted to this complaint.

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