The Chinese space station has twice escaped collisions with Starlink satellites

China recently filed a new complaint with the United Nations alleging that it had to maneuver with the space station to prevent a possible collision of its space station with two Starlink SpaceX satellites. According to Warez, China has asked the UN Secretary-General to remind countries of their obligations under international space law; However, it did not specify what the UN requested.

China’s complaint, which dates back to December 6, 2021, refers to two events that took place on July 1, 2020 and October 21, 2021. China explicitly states that on these dates it has been forced to maneuver with the main module of its space station, called Tianhai, to divert it from the two separate Starlink satellites. The three Chinese astronauts currently on board arrived in this part of the Chinese space station just days before the October maneuver.

China says because of the actions taken under Outer Space Pact It is committed to them, it’s their duty to report such incidents to the United Nations. The Overseas Space Pact is an international treaty signed in the 1960s that sets out how countries should explore space.

The treaty contains a set of rules and regulations for sending spacecraft or humans into space, and covers issues such as the non-deployment of nuclear weapons in Earth orbit, and emphasizes the peaceful nature of space exploration. The Overseas Space Treaty states that states must be held accountable for their actions in space within the framework of international law; This includes commercial companies operating in different countries. As it turns out, China wants all countries to consider this.

Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious news project to provide Internet access to the planet’s inhabitants via satellite. SpaceX puts about 12,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit to reach the broadband Internet. Company under management Ilan Mask So far, it has sent more than 1,900 satellites into orbit, of which about 1,800 are still in orbit.

As SpaceX continues to send more batches of its satellites into Earth orbit, a number of space activists have expressed concern about the overcrowding of orbits around the Earth, saying that by sending SpaceX satellites, the possibility of colliding with satellites previously The space sent is increasing. Earlier reports said a number of satellites had to be relocated to avoid collisions with SpaceX satellites.

SpaceX says its satellites have software specifically designed to prevent collisions. This software causes SpaceX satellites to change their direction if they detect the possibility of colliding with satellites or space debris.

China says the module maneuvers were done because two SpaceX satellites changed their height. The first maneuver followed in 2020 when a Starlink satellite orbited 555 km from its previous orbit at 382 km. China claims that Starlinck’s second problematic satellite was “constantly maneuvering”, making it difficult to determine its trajectory. China says it decided to conduct a maneuver to avoid a collision, given the astronauts’ presence on the space station.

This is not the first time a space station has been forced to maneuver to avoid colliding with objects in space. The International Space Station is constantly stepping up its orbital motion to prevent possible collisions. Last month, Russia destroyed one of its satellites in orbit near the International Space Station, creating thousands of pieces of space debris. This space debris can be hazardous to the International Space Station for years. China has a history of doing the same.

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Following the media coverage of China’s complaint, Ars Technica wrote in a report that Ilan Musk responded to the criticism by saying that “tens of billions” of spacecraft could be placed in near-Earth orbits. “The space is very large and the satellites are very small,” Musk said. “We have not stopped anyone from doing anything and we do not expect that to happen.”

Mask’s remarks in a recent interview with the Financial Times are in response to new claims by the head of the European Space Agency that Mask sets the rules for space economics.

Comparing Earth orbit with the planet’s surface, Ilan Musk says there is enough space to place tens of billions of satellites around the Earth, and “a few thousand satellites are not visible at all.” According to Mask, several thousand satellites around the earth are like a few thousand cars on the surface of the earth and do not take up much space.

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