On Monday, Chinese citizens took to social media to criticize Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, after China reported that its space station had to take evasive steps to avoid colliding with satellites launched by Musk’s Starlink project.
The satellites from Starlink Internet Services, a division of Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company, had two “close encounters” with the Chinese space station on July 1 and Oct. 21, according to a document submitted by China earlier this month to the U.N.’s space agency.
“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” China said in a document published on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
In a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform on Monday, one user said Starlink’s satellites were “just a pile of space junk,” while another described them as “American space warfare weapons.”
Scientists have urged governments to exchange data to lessen the possibility of disastrous space collisions, with roughly 30,000 satellites and other junk believed to be orbiting the Earth. SpaceX alone has roughly 1,900 satellites in orbit to operate its Starlink internet network, with more on the way.
What is SpaceX?
SpaceX, located in Hawthorne, California, is an American aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services provider, and communications company. Elon Musk created SpaceX in 2002 with the purpose of lowering space transportation costs so that Mars may be colonized.
The first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit, the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft, the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, the first vertical take-off and vertical propulsive landing for an orbital rocket, the first reuse of an orbital rocket, and the first private company to send astronauts to orbit and to the International Space Station are just some of SpaceX’s accomplishments.