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According to the note submitted by China to the UN space agency, a division of SpaceX, Starlink Internet Services, launched two satellites under the Starlink program.
There was an online backlash on Elon Musk and SpaceX from China citizens on the 27th of December due to space station near-collisions. A note sent to the United Nations revealed that some satellites owned by SpaceX nearly collided with China’s space station. According to the note, the SpaceX near-collisions occurred on two different occasions in 2021. After China complained of how it had to force its space station to take evasive action to avoid collisions, it sparked reactions from citizens who began to lash Musk and his aerospace company SpaceX.
According to the note submitted by China to the UN space agency, a division of SpaceX, Starlink Internet Services, launched two satellites under the Starlink program. The first and second satellites have two “close encounters” with the Chinese space on the 1st of July and the 21st of October, respectively.
Users of China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform on Weibo verbally attacked SpaceX. A user said Starlink’s websites is a “pile of space junk,” while another said the satellites are “American space warfare weapons.”
Satellites Launched by SpaceX Escapees Near Collisions
In a document published on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, China said that the China Space Station has implemented “preventive collision avoidance control” for safety reasons.
Currently, there are about 30,000 satellites and other debris orbiting the planet. Therefore, scientists have urged governments to reveal data to lower the risks of possible space collisions. Musk’s SpaceX has singlehandedly deployed nearly 1,900 satellites for its Starlink programme. In addition, the aerospace company is planning to roll out more satellites. A Weibo user, with the name Chen Haiyang, wrote:
“The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities.”
In November, the US NASA abruptly called off a spacewalk due to the risk posed by space debris. In response to the agency’s move, Musk said Starlink adjusted some of its orbits to reduce the possibility of collisions.
Also in November, SpaceX and NASA partnered to crash an Asteroid. The joint venture ran a first-in-a-kind defense project, sending a spacecraft to the asteroid. Tagged “DART,” the mission is to create a shield on earth. Although there is no threat, the project is towards making the planet safer in case of a rogue asteroid. At the time, NASA said its spacecraft, which weighed 610 kilograms, would take 10 months before it reaches asteroids. SpaceX director Julianna Scheiman commented on the partnership, saying, “This is just the coolest mission. Thank you all for enabling SpaceX to be part of a really important planetary defence mission.”