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Elon Musk faces Chinese online fury after near-collision in space

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China reported that Musk's SpaceX satellites drifted uncomfortably close to its space station, which then had to take evasion action. This led to a backlash on Weibo, China's Twitter clone, with users panning Elon Musk and the US government.

Elon Musk faces Chinese online fury after near-collision in space
Elon Musk is the world’s richest man, the CEO of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, and an internet celebrity in his own right, often ribbing a Jeff Bezos or a Tim Cook on Twitter. But now he is getting a dose of his own medicine. Recently Musk drew flak in China, after the country reported that its space station had to make evasive manoeuvres to avoid SpaceX satellites.
The satellites belonged to Starlink Internet Services, which aims to provide satellite broadband services all over the world and is a unit of SpaceX. The two ‘close encounters’ happened on July 1 and October 21, according to a document submitted by China in December itself to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
“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.
After the announcement was made, Musk, SpaceX and the US were heavily panned on China’s social media platform Weibo. Users on the Twitter-inspired Weibo platform called the satellites  “American space warfare weapons” and  “just a pile of space junk,” reports stated. Another added that "Musk is a new 'weapon' created by the US government and military," reported the BBC.
The Chinese space station project has consolidated, with China sending three astronauts into orbit to begin occupation of its new space station in the longest manned space mission to date. The 22.5 Tianhe module is the first and core component of an around 70-tonne orbiting outpost, that will comprise the living quarters, science labs and even a Hubble-class telescope.
The prolific rise of satellite broadband companies across the world, like Starlink, One Web, Amazon’s Kuiper Project and more, have raised concerns about the risks of several thousand satellites orbiting the Earth. Earlier in the year, the European Space Agency (ESA) had stated that the increasing number of satellites and their debris is heightening the risk of catastrophic collision in space.
"Our behaviour in space is unsustainable and if we continue at this pace, the number of objects in orbit will make it hard to safely operate in space at all," the organisation had stated.
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