China criticizes SpaceX over satellites endangering its space station

China has expressed strong concern over SpaceX Starlink satellites endangering the safety of the astronauts on its space station.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Wed, Dec 29 2021 2:30 AM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jan 20 2022 12:32 AM CST

China is unhappy with the United States over recent close encounters between SpaceX satellites and the Chinese space station.

China criticizes SpaceX over satellites endangering its space station 01 | TweakTown.com

China's space station, named Tiangong, had to make evasive maneuvers to avoid collisions with Starlink satellites owned by SpaceX on two separate occasions. According to a note submitted to the United Nations space agency by Beijing, the first occurred in July 2021, and the second in October 2021.

"The US... ignores its obligations under international treaties, posing a serious threat to the lives and safety of astronauts," said Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

China asserts in its note that members of the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty are also responsible for the actions of their non-government entities. SpaceX is a private company that operates independently of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and so far has not responded to a request to comment.

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says there has been an increase in the number of close passes as the Starlink constellation deploys. He adds that any collision between a satellite and the space station is likely to completely demolish it, killing everyone aboard.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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