Beijing calls on US to protect Chinese astronauts from SpaceX satellites

Beijing calls on US to protect Chinese astronauts from SpaceX satellites

China filed a complaint with the UN in which it explained that the Chinese station had to carry out, first in July and again in September, maneuvers to avoid a collision with two satellites of the private US firm SpaceX , founded by the businessman. billionaire Elon Musk.

China’s Foreign Ministry has asked the United States to prevent American satellites from getting too close to China’s Tiangong space station, Chinese media reported in recent hours.

“The United States must take immediate measures to prevent such incidents from occurring,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday, adding that the United States should maintain “a responsible attitude to protect the lives of astronauts in orbit. and the stable operation of spacecraft. ”

China filed a complaint with the UN this month in which it explained that the Chinese station had to carry out, first last July and again in September, maneuvers to avoid a collision with two satellites of the private US firm SpaceX , founded by billionaire businessman Elon Musk.

On both occasions there were crew members on board the Tiangong, so the incidents “were a danger to the life and health of the astronauts,” the Chinese delegation said.

Three crew members are currently at the Chinese station, which they arrived on October 16 aboard the Shenzhou-13 ship to continue the construction of the Tiangong with a view to completing it by the end of 2022, after the crews of the future Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 to conclude the planned works.

ASK FOR RESPONSIBILITY

The Tiangong will weigh about 70 tons and is expected to operate for about 15 years orbiting about 400 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.

SpaceX operates the Starlink communications satellites, of which it has already launched more than 1,900 since 2019.

Despite being a private company, China asked the UN to hold the United States “responsible” for US activities in outer space, regardless of whether they are carried out by non-governmental or non-governmental organizations.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites have an autonomous system designed to prevent collisions, but such a system makes it more difficult for other actors to predict their trajectories and possible collisions, explained expert Hugh Lewis in the specialized medium Space.

Starlinks are already part of more than half of the too-close approaches between satellites, according to Lewis.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.