Elon Musk denies that his satellites are taking up too much space
Elon Musk has denied that his Starlink satellite broadband project takes up too much space in space. According to the Financial Times, “tens of billions” of satellites can be hosted in orbits close to Earth.
After the president of the European Space Agency (ESA) said that Mr Musk was “setting the rules” for the nascent commercial space industry, Musk responded.
China complained this week that it had to divert its space station to avoid colliding with Starlink satellites.
Mr Musk rebuffed claims that his Starlink Internet Services project was effectively preventing competitors from entering the satellite market, claiming that there is plenty of space for satellites in Earth’s orbit.
ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher warned earlier this month that the thousands of communications satellites launched by Starlink would leave significantly less space for competitors.
Other specialists believe that significantly greater distances between spacecraft are required to avoid collisions than Mr Musk suggests.
Scientists have previously expressed alarm about the dangers of space collisions and urged world governments to exchange information about the estimated 30,000 satellites and other space debris orbiting Earth.
This week, Mr Musk made headlines after China protested that its space station was compelled to avert collisions with satellites launched by his Starlink project, prompting a social media reaction.
This year, the Chinese space station had two close encounters with Starlink satellites, according to Beijing.
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.
The instances that prompted the allegations against the United Nations’ space agency have yet to be independently verified. China also accused the US of endangering astronauts by failing to follow treaty responsibilities in outer space.
China is requesting that the US act properly, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhao Lijian. SpaceX has already launched around 1,900 satellites as part of the Starlink network and plans to launch thousands more.