China complains about near-misses with SpaceX satellites — Analysis

Beijing says that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites passed dangerously close to its manned space missions, endangering the lives of its astronauts

China’s government filed a complaint to the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs claiming its space station was forced to avoid starlink satellites twice this year.

The complaint, lodged with the UN earlier this month, alleges that a Starlink satellite in April dropped from its regular orbit of 555 kilometers above the earth to 382 kilometers (237 miles) ​​– close to the China Space Station’s (CSS) orbit of around 390 kilometers (242 miles). Beijing stated that the collision was possible due to the change of orbit. “conduct an evasive manoeuvre”This is to be avoided.

International Space Station swerves to avoid American space junk – Russia

In October, the second incident occurred. Again, the CSS’s Chinese crew acted to stop a Starlink Satellite, which was claimed by the report. “continuously manoeuvring,”Following an “unknown” strategy.

According to the Chinese delegation, satellites were created. “could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts.”

SpaceX already has agreements with NASA to launch its satellites into orbit five kilometers (three miles) away from the US space agency’s craft or the International Space Station (ISS), which circles the earth roughly 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) above the CSS. SpaceX also claims that its satellites are equipped with autonomous collision avoidance technology, and insists that other spacecraft don’t need to take evasive maneuvers to dodge them.

While the ISS hasn’t been forced to avoid Starlink satellites before, it did have to avoid space debris on numerous occasions. The ISS amended its orbit in order to avoid the remnants of the American Pegasus rocket earlier this month. One week ago, the SpaceX Falcon rocket’s wreckage passed close to the ISS. It was also near the station.

SpaceX launched more than 1,700 Starlink satellites to orbit so far. The company intends to launch more than 40,000 satellites in an effort to offer satellite internet access around the globe. Scientists have expressed concern that such a large number of satellites could create an even more cluttered orbital environment. Astronomers also fear that they will block their vision of the night sky.

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