China has protested that its space station was compelled to avert collisions with satellites launched by Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services project, prompting a backlash on social media.
Beijing said that the country’s space station had two “close encounters” with Starlink satellites this year.
The instances that prompted the allegations to the United Nations’ space agency have yet to be fact-checked.
Musk’s SpaceX operates the Starlink satellite internet network.
Musk is well-known in China, despite the fact that his electric car company, Tesla, is under increasing regulatory investigation.
According to a paper provided by China to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs this month, the occurrences occurred on July 1 and October 21.
“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” Beijing said in the document published on the agency’s website.
There were no comments available from SpaceX.
Musk, Starlink, and the United States were strongly chastised after the accusation was made public on China’s Weibo microblogging platform, which is similar to Twitter.
“Just a pile of space garbage,” one user said of Starlink’s satellites.
Others claimed that the satellites are “American space warfare weapons” and that “Musk is a new ‘weapon’ developed by the US government and military.”
Another posted: “The risks of Starlink are being gradually exposed, the whole human race will pay for their business activities.”
China also accused the US of endangering astronauts by failing to follow treaty responsibilities in outer space.
China is asking the US to act responsibly, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijian.
Scientists have expressed alarm about the dangers of collisions in space and have urged governments around the world to exchange information linked to the approximately 30,000 satellites and other space debris that are currently orbiting the Earth.
As part of the Starlink network, SpaceX has already launched about 1,900 satellites and aims to send to Earth’s orbit thousands more.
Nasa, the United States’ space agency, delayed a spacewalk from the International Space Station last month due to worries about space debris.
(Adapted from SkyNews.com)