Hundreds, thousands of satellites have been launched by the Starlink network. Somebody got upset about it. China denounced the danger of Elon Musk’s satellites. And it did so at the UN. The Asian country filed a complaint with the United Nations. It said its space station was forced to avoid two collisions with satellites launched by the Starlink project. Which belongs, of course, to billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
The Chinese station had two “close encounters” with Starlink satellites this year. It is the Internet provider company operated by SpaceX, also owned by Musk. These incidents reported by Beijing were not independently verified.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to the complaint. But in an interview with The Financial TimesMusk argued that space is “huge”. And that there is room for billions of satellites. However, he did not specifically mention the dispute with China.
The event occurred on July 1 and October 21. So says the documentation submitted by Beijing to the UN. “For safety reasons, the Chinese space station implemented a preventive control to avoid collisions,” is part of what the text says.
Known about the incident, Musk and Starlink received numerous criticisms on the Chinese social network Weibo. “Starlink’s risks are gradually being exposed. All of humanity will pay for their economic activities,” said one user.
China has also accused the United States. It says it puts astronauts at risk by ignoring outer space treaty obligations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the U.S. to act responsibly.
Scientists have gone public with their concerns about the risks of space crashes. The danger of Elon Musk’s satellites is just one of many. Governments around the world were asked to share information about it. There are 30,000 satellites and other space debris orbiting the Earth.
SpaceX has already launched nearly 1,900 satellites as part of their Starlink network. They want to provide internet cheaply and plans to put thousands more into orbit. Last month NASA postponed at the last minute a spacewalk from the International Space Station. What was the reason? The danger of space junk.