Elon Musk Slammed Online by Chinese Citizens After Starlink Satellite-Space Station Near-Misses

Chinese citizens lashed out online on Monday against billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk’s space ambitions after China complained that its space station was forced to take aggressive action to avoid a collision with satellites launched by Musk’s Starlink program. was forced to.

satellite from starlink Internet Services, a division of Musk SpaceX The aerospace company had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21, according to a document submitted by China to the UN space agency earlier this month.

“For security reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance controls,” China said in a document published on the website of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs.

The complaints have not been independently verified. SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

in china post like twitter On Monday, one user of the Weibo microblogging platform said Starlink’s satellites were “just a pile of space junk”, while another described them as “American space warfare weapons”.

About 30,000 satellites and other debris are believed to be orbiting the planet, with scientists urging governments to share data to reduce the risk of catastrophic space collisions.

SpaceX alone has deployed about 1,900 satellites to service its Starlink broadband network, and is planning more.

A user posted by the name Chen Haiying said, “Starlink’s risks are slowly unfolding, the whole human race will pay for its business activities.” Weibo,

american space agency NASA It was suddenly forced to call off a spacewalk in late November, citing the risks posed by space debris. Musk tweeted in response that some Starlink satellite orbits were adjusted to reduce the chance of a collision.

China begins construction of the space station with its April launch tian, the largest of its three modules. The station is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 after four crewed missions.

Musk has become a well-known figure in China, however. Tesla’s The electric-vehicle business has come under increasing scrutiny from regulators, especially after a customer climbed aboard a Tesla car at the Shanghai Auto Show in April in protest of poor customer service.

© Thomson Reuters 2021