China claims SpaceX satellites came too close to its space station


SpaceX is the brainchild of Elon Musk, and it has been very successful for a private space company. Generally, the task of launching rockets and going to space has been left to the government, but SpaceX has changed that.

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But launching things into space means you’re playing on a different field. In this case, many governments operate in space, and when they claim two of your satellites came too close to their space station, well, that could be a problem.

In a report sent earlier this month to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, China claimed that two SpaceX satellites flew too close to the country’s space station this year, forcing the station to make evasive maneuvers to avoid collision.

The two encounters “constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station,” according to the report, which said the incidents happened in July and October.

China filed its complaint to the UN early this month. But the episodes didn’t gain widespread attention in the country until this week.

Chinese State media scrutinized the incidents, which involved satellites that are part of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation — a project that promises to beam high-speed internet across the entire planet. The Global Times, a state-run tabloid, cited an expert Monday who speculated that SpaceX may have been “trying to test China’s capability and response awareness in space.”


China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the United States to take measures and action to prevent an incident like this from happening again. SpaceX has not commented on the incident, but they may still be trying to sort the whole thing out with China before commenting.

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