Elon Musk's response after the SpaceX satellite nearly hit the China space station

China complained to the United Nations (UN), saying that their space station nearly fell victim to a collision from a small satellite belonging to Elon Musk's company, SpaceX.

The country said its space station was forced to take evasive action to avoid collisions twice, in July and October.

According to the New York Post, China said the SpaceX satellites were hovering very close to their space station, potentially endangering the lives and health of astronauts.

"For security reasons, the China Space Station is implementing collision prevention controls," the country said in a note filed with the UN space agency this December.

Remind About the Space Treaty

The small satellite involved in the alleged incident is part of nearly 2,000 satellites launched by SpaceX's service division, Starlink.

This service delivers internet to subscribers in restricted areas, who have little access to regular internet service providers.

China also asked the United Nations to remind countries that have signed an international agreement called the Outer Space Treaty, including the United States.

These countries were reminded that they "bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space ... whether those activities are carried out by governmental agencies or non-governmental entities."

Criticized by Netizens

Not only from the Chinese government, the security incident also sparked anger from netizens in the Bamboo Curtain country, via Weibo social media.

Some have called SpaceX's satellites a "space junk heap" and others have called them "America's space warfare weapon."

Chinese state media Global Times also suggested that SpaceX could try to "Test China's sensitivities in space."

In his statement, Elon Musk said that outer space is so vast that he refuses to move the thousands of Starlink satellites currently in space if they take up too much space.

In fact, according to him, tens of billions of satellites fit into Earth's orbit. "Space is very, very large and satellites are very small," Musk said.

"This is not a situation where we effectively block the other party. We don't block anyone from doing anything, nor do we expect them to. Those few thousand satellites are nothing. That's like a few thousand cars on Earth, nothing, said Elon Musk.

Another Musk company, Tesla, has also recently come under scrutiny in China as some customers protested the safety of its electric cars on social media.

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