January 20, 2022, 20:44

China calls on US to protect space station from satellites

China calls on US to protect space station from satellites

A foreign ministry spokesman accused Washington on Tuesday of ignoring its treaty obligations to protect the safety of the Tiangong station’s three-member crew following the July 1 and Oct. 21 incidents.

The Tiangong performed “evasive maneuvers” to “prevent a potential collision” with Starlink satellites launched by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the government said in a Dec. 6 complaint to the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

The United States should “take immediate measures to prevent such incidents from happening again,” said the spokesman, Zhao Lijian.

Zhao accused Washington of failing to carry out its obligations to “protect the safety of astronauts” under a 1967 treaty on the peaceful use of space.

The first module of the Tiangong was launched in April. Its first crew returned to Earth in September following a 90-day mission. The second crew of two men and one woman arrived Oct. 16 for a six-month mission.

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