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China complains of space station near-misses with Elon Musk’s Space X satellites

China complains of space station near-misses with Elon Musk’s Space X satellites

China complained to the UN Elon Musk’s Space X satellites had two close encounters with its space station in the recent past and was forced to take evasive action to avoid collisions, according to a document. According to a document submitted by China earlier this month to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21. “A close encounter occurred between the Starlink-1095 satellite and the China Space Station on 1 July 2021. For safety reasons, the China Space Station took the initiative to conduct an evasive manoeuvre in the evening of that day to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft,” China said in a document published on the website of the UN space agency. Also read | Elon Musk: Im almost done with Tesla stock sales It said the Starlink-2305 satellite had a subsequent close encounter with the China Space Station on October 21. “As the satellite was continuously manoeuvring, the manoeuvre strategy was unknown and orbital errors were hard to be assessed, there was thus a collision risk between the Starlink-2305 satellite and the China Space Station. To ensure the safety and lives of in-orbit astronauts, the China Space Station performed an evasive manoeuvre again on the same day to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft.” In 2021, Beijing completed five launch missions including the launch of the successful launch into orbit of the Tianhe core module of the China Space Station, said the document. Also read | Musk reflects on tough year that 2008 was for Tesla in a reply to engineer The space station is in a stable near-circular orbit at an altitude of around 390 kilometres on an orbital inclination of about 41.5 degrees, it added. Chinese citizens have taken to the social media platforms against SpaceX founder Elon Musk with regard to these allegations. According to Reuters, a user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform said Starlink’s satellites were “just a pile of space junk,” while another described them as “American space warfare weapons.” Also read | Elon Musk says he will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year “The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities,” a user posting under the name Chen Haiying said on Weibo, Reuters reported. China has said that SpaceX is yet to respond to the incidents. It also said that no other agency has confirmed the near misses and these close encounters constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station, according to CGTN..

world-news 2021-12-29 hindustantimes