On Monday, Chinese language web users blasted out at gazillionaire Tesla inventor Elon Musk following China’s warning that his Starlink satellites were placing its home station at risk of crashing with them. On July 1 and October 21, satellites from SpaceX subsidiary Starlink Web Companies had two “shut encounters” with the Chinese house station, according to a document China filed to the UN house business earlier this month.
According to a document issued by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), China has deployed “preventive collision avoidance control” on the China Space Station.
There has been no third-party verification of the complaints. Requests for comment from the media were not immediately returned by SpaceX.
As a result of this development, there are once again concerns about the increasing space arms race, which includes anything from laser weapons to satellites that can shunt other satellites out of orbit.
One user called Starlink’s satellites “just a pile of house garbage” in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging site on Monday, while another called them “American home warfare weapons” in the post.
Scientists estimate that there are about 30,000 satellites and other objects in Earth’s orbit, and they’ve asked nations to share their expertise to reduce the risk of a catastrophic house crash.
SpaceX alone has launched over 1,900 satellites to service the Starlink internet network, and more are on the horizon.
On Weibo, someone going by the name Chen Haiying said, “The hazards of Starlink are being revealed step by step, and the entire human species can suffer for his or her business actions.”
A spacewalk scheduled for the end of November was unexpectedly canceled because of risks presented by house particles, according to NASA. It was in reply to this that Musk said some orbits of the Starlink satellite television system had been altered to reduce the likelihood of collisions.
Tianhe, the largest of the three modules, was launched in April as the first step in China’s development of the home station. A crewed expedition is expected to complete the station by the end of 2022.
Musk has become a household name in China, but Tesla’s electric-vehicle business has come under increasing scrutiny from regulators, notably when an angry customer stood on top of a Tesla car at the Shanghai auto show in April to denounce bad customer service.
As per the Union of Concerned Scientists, there are presently over 4,500 satellites orbiting the Earth, and businesses like SpaceX expect to deploy tens of thousands more as the commercial space economy grows rapidly.