Beijing Criticizes the U.S. After ‘close encounters’ with Starlink Satellites

On Tuesday, Beijing has accused the United States of ignoring international treaty obligations and engaging in irresponsible and unsafe conduct in space after two close encounters between China’s Tiangong Space Station and satellites launched by billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, said that Beijing urges America to act responsibly after occurrences involving SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, which he said had posed a severe danger to the astronauts’ lives and health.

In a document submitted by Beijing to the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) earlier in December, Beijing said the Tiangong space station had to maneuver to avoid one Starlink satellite in July and second in October this year. In addition, the document stated China’s Space Station had to take ‘preventive collision avoidance control’ during the two “near misses” after the satellites had moved into orbits that obliged the operators of Tiangong to change its direction.

According to the document, the incidents posed risks to the life and safety of astronauts onboard Tiangong and asked the Secretary-General of the United Nations to circulate the above-mentioned data to all states parties to the space treaty.

Previous Post Next Post