China has accused the United States of “dangerous behavior” after two satellites sent by the Chinese space station and Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, came close to dangerous levels twice.
According to a note submitted by China to the UN space agency, China’s new space station Tiangong was evacuated in July and October to avoid a satellite sent by Starlink, according to foreign news agency AFP. Had to relocate.
“This poses a threat to the lives and health of the crew on the space station,” the note said.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a routine briefing yesterday that “the United States has ignored its obligations under international agreements and endangered the lives of astronauts.”
StarLink is actually part of SpaceX, which aims to provide Internet access to most parts of the Earth via about 2,000 satellites.
SpaceX is a private US company, separate from the US military and civilian space agency NASA.
But China, in a note sent to the United Nations, said member states of the Outer Space Treaty were also responsible for the actions of their NGOs. SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
Beijing’s complaint about Starlink sparked criticism on Chinese social media of SpecsX and its founder, Elon Musk, who are very popular in China.
The hashtag has received over 90 million views on the Twitter-style social networking platform Weibo.
One user wrote, “How ironic that the Chinese buy Tesla and pay Elon Musk to send a Star Link into space and he (almost) collides with the Chinese space station in space.”
Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said: “We’ve been seeing an increase in such incidents ever since StarLink began to go into space.”
He said that in case of any collision, the Chinese space station could be completely destroyed and all the people on board could be killed.