China Says SpaceX Satellites are Trying to Hit Its Space Station
  • 2 years ago
VIENNA, AUSTRIA — China used a strange way to complain about Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites doing to the Chinese space station what China had been doing much worse to the ISS since 2007. Here are the details:

The Guardian reports that China has complained to the U.N. about having to maneuver its space station twice to avoid it getting struck by some of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

In a report that Beijing submitted to the U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, China complained that its space station had to use collision avoidance procedures in July and October to avoid a collision.

China also called on the U.S. to “bear responsibility” for the Starlink incident.

This comes only years after China used a missile to blow up one of its satellites in 2007, causing a huge cloud of space debris that forced the International Space Station to do collision avoidance maneuvers multiple times to get out of the way of the Chinese satellite’s debris.

Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told the Guardian that China was not innocent when it came to creating collision risks in space.

He also said that it was “highly unusual” for a country to lodge a complaint through what he called an “informational bulletin” to the U.N.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media outlet Global News claimed that so-called “experts” said the two incidents showed that Starlink satellites were being used by the U.S. to test the Chinese space station’s ability to respond and maneuver.

Some U.S. observers believe the complaint was created as an excuse to suppress Elon Musk’s Tesla car company's market share in China.