China asks the US to defend its space station from satellites

BEIJING (AP), China has called on the United States for protection of a Chinese space station. The station was damaged by satellites launched from SpaceX by Elon Musk.

China asks the US to defend its space station from satellites

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the foreign ministry accused Washington of not fulfilling its treaty obligations to ensure the safety of three members of the crew at Tiangong station following the Oct. 21 and July 1 incidents.

According to a Dec. 6 complaint filed to the U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the government stated that the Tiangong used "evasive maneuvers" in order to "prevent a possible collision" with Starlink satellites from Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the United States, stated that they should take immediate steps to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.

Zhao accused Washington, under the 1967 space treaty on peaceful use of space, of failing to fulfill its obligations to "protect safety of astronauts".

The American Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

Musk is also the chairman of Tesla, Inc., an electric vehicle manufacturer. In 2019, the company opened its first overseas factory in Shanghai.

However, the Tiangong is a high-profile project for China's ruling Communist Party. It is unlikely that Beijing would allow any disruption, even by major foreign investors.

In April, the main module of Tiangong was launched. After a 90-day mission, the first crew returned to Earth in September. Two men and one woman joined the second crew on October 16th for a six month mission.

SpaceX will launch approximately 2,000 Starlink satellites in a global internet network to provide internet access to areas that are not served by it. SpaceX launched 52 satellites aboard its latest rocket Dec. 18, for its 34th launch.

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