China Criticizes Elon Musk Over SpaceX Satellite Near-Misses with Its Space Station; Asks U.N. to Intervene

By B.N. Frank

Warnings about space junk and satellite collision risks have been ongoing for years (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).  Last month’s “smashed” Russian satellite highlighted risks of already dangerously high levels of space junk.  The more recent space junk incident with the International Space Station was also unsettling.  China’s space station has reportedly experienced some near-miss collisions with SpaceX satellites as well.

From Newser:

China Angry With Elon Musk Over Space Near-Misses

Says its space station twice had to avert collisions with Starlink satellites

(Newser) – Twice over the past year, China says, its space station has almost been hit by satellites launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The country is now calling on the United Nations to get the US to abide by the treaty that regulates outer space, the Guardian reports. In both July and October, the space station was forced to deploy prevention collision avoidance control measures to avert collisions with Starlink satellites, China says in a report to the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Whether governmental or non-governmental bodies are carrying out the activities, China argues, the US must “bear international responsibility” for the results. China’s complaints have not been independently verified, the BBC reports.

Experts say the increasing amount of debris and satellites in space (nealry 1,900 Starlink satellites have been launched so far) is leading to more collisions, but one points out that China is not innocent in all this. “It is also fair to say that the US space station has several times over the past 10 years had to dodge pieces from the Chinese military anti-satellite test of 2007,” he says. “The biggest debris event ever was the Chinese anti-satellite test.” Musk, SpaceX, and the US in general were being criticized on China’s Weibo social media site following the news of China’s complaint breaking, with some referring to the Starlink satellites as “space junk” or even weapons. (Read more Starlink stories.)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that the U.S. or the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will take action against SpaceX or other companies for risks associated with their satellites.  Lawsuits have already been filed against the FCC for approving the deployment of thousands of satellites despite numerous risks (see 1, 2, 3).  In August 2021, an astronomy professor filed an amicus brief with one of the lawsuits.  In March 2021, a petition was also filed with the FCC to pause satellite deployment due to various safety risks.  Nevertheless, tens of thousands of satellites and similar vehicles have been and continue to be approved for launching in the U.S. to blast biologically and environmentally harmful Wi-Fi and 5G at Earth (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) and of course, for other purposes too.

Activist Post reports regularly about satellites and unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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