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Elon Musk, SpaceX face online backlash in China after space station narrowly missed


Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX, speaks during Satellite Conference 2020 in Washington, DC, US on March 9, 2020.

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | beautiful pictures

BEIJING – Chinese citizens lashed out at billionaires online Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday after China complained that its space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a satellite launched by Musk’s Starlink program.

The satellites of Starlink Internet Services, a division of Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and October 21, according to a report. The document was submitted by China earlier this month to the United Nations space agency.

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

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

In a post on China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform Weibo on Monday, one user said Starlink’s satellites were “a pile of space junk”, while another described them as “war weapons”. American space wars”.

With nearly 30,000 satellites and other debris believed to be orbiting the planet, scientists have called on governments to share data to reduce the risk of catastrophic space collisions.

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

“Starlink’s risks are gradually being exposed, all of humanity will pay the price for their business activities,” one user posted under the name Chen Haiying said on Weibo.

US space agency NASA was forced to abruptly halt a spacewalk at the end of November, citing risks posed by space debris. Musk tweeted in response that some of the Starlink satellite orbits have been adjusted to reduce the likelihood of collisions.

China began construction of the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe, 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 celebrity in China, even though Tesla’s electric car business has faltered under increasing scrutiny from regulators, especially after a customer climbed onto the roof of a Tesla at the Shanghai auto show in April to protest poor customer service.

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