China said the Tiangong orbital station must take urgent measures to avoid collision with Starlink satellites. The Chinese side calls on the US to “answer for this”.
Beijing has asked the United Nations to remind the United States of its compliance with the treaty governing the use of outer space. This happened after Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellites almost collided with the Tiangong space station. According to the Chinese side, such incidents of “near collisions” occurred twice in 2021, The Guardian reports.
China submitted a report to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, pointing to the fact that in July and October 2021, the Chinese space station had to take necessary measures to avoid collision with Starlink satellites.
The report says that the countries participating in the Outer Space Treaty should be held accountable for the actions of their governmental and non-governmental organizations. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched more than 1,600 Starlink satellites into space. And it is authorized to launch about 12,000 more satellites.
“Collisions in space happen quite often. But in recent years, the number of such collisions has increased due to the large number of satellites launched into space. Most of these satellites are Starlink,” said Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics .
China is also one of the largest suppliers of space debris, McDowell said. The biggest event related to space debris was the test of China’s anti-satellite defense system.
“There’s more junk and more satellites. Space is getting busier. It’s a space age dominated by private companies,” McDowell says.
SpaceX did not respond to The Guardian’s request for comment on the situation.
We remind you that the ISS had to perform an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision with a Chinese satellite.
Focus wrote that 3 Chinese astronauts spent 90 days in orbit in the Tianhe module, the first component of the Chinese space station Tiangong, and successfully returned to Earth.