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Elon Musk criticized on Chinese social networks for the risk of “collision” between the Starlink satellites and the space station | World news

Elon Musk faced a backlash from Chinese social media users after China complained that its space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with the tech billionaire’s Starlink satellites.

China submitted a document earlier this month to the UN space agency saying that the satellites of the Star link Mr. Musk’s division aerospace company SpaceX had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21.

As word of the repository spread, users of the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo piled up, with one user claiming the Starlink satellites were “just a bunch of space junk” and another describing them as “American space warfare weapons”.

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Elon Musk’s satellites accused of endangering astronauts

China’s submission to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs states: “For security reasons, the Chinese Space Station has implemented preventive collision avoidance control.

China’s Tianhe module, the first in a series of modules that will make up its Tiangong space station, was launched on April 29, 2021 and has been in orbit ever since. Its launch was also surrounded by controversy.

Tianhe is expected to be joined later this year by two more modules. China’s complaints to the UN have not been independently verified.

“The human race will pay for the commercial activities of SpaceX”

SpaceX has sent nearly 1,900 satellites into orbit to create its Starlink broadband network, and the company is planning more.

SpaceX has yet to respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Another Weibo user posted: “The risks of Starlink are gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for its business activities.”

It is believed that there are nearly 30,000 satellites and other objects orbiting Earth and scientists have urged governments to share information to reduce the risk of collisions.

NASA said in November that astronauts on the International Space Station were obliged to take emergency measures after debris from a former Russian satellite destroyed by a Russian missile floated dangerously nearby.

At the time, Musk tweeted that the orbits of some Starlink satellites had been adjusted to reduce the likelihood of collisions.

Musk is well known in China, but his other company, electric vehicle maker Tesla, has come under increasing scrutiny by regulators across the country after some customers complained about poor service.

It occurs at the end of a year in which Musk was named Time Magazine’s 2021 Personality of the Year, in part because the market value of his business has soared to over $ 1,000 billion.