China says its space station has evaded Starlink satellites twice this year

Astronomers aren’t the only ones having trouble with SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. as cnet Reports said, China has submitted a complaint to the United Nations over two near-collision incidents between the ongoing Tiangong Space Station and the Starlink spacecraft. According to Chinese officials, the station had to conduct evasive maneuvers on July 1 and October 21 this year to reduce the chance of a collision.

The accusations match the conjunction of astronomer Jonathan McDowell Notes for both days. China has also argued that SpaceX’s satellites were not always predictable. During the October accident, Starlink was “continuously” maneuvering in a way that made the orbital path difficult to predict.

We asked SpaceX for comment. But China has already called for action. In its complaint, the country asked the UN Secretary-General to remind states (read: the US) that parties to the Outer Space Treaty are responsible for extraterrestrial accidents, even if they involve private companies.

China has created its share of accidents in the past. The 2007 anti-satellite missile test created debris that poses threats to the International Space Station and other spacecraft to this day. However, the complaint notes, the privatization of space is making these nearby incidents more common — particularly when SpaceX, Amazon, and others launch internet services that rely on huge satellite constellations.

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