U.S. Denies Allegations That Starlink Satellites Had Close Encounters with Chinese Space Station

Shenzhou 13 launches to Tiangong space station.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The U.S. had denied claims that a pair of SpaceX Starlink satellites came close to hitting the Chinese space station last year.

“Because the activities did not meet the threshold of established emergency collision criteria, emergency notifications were not warranted in either case,” the U.S. said is a note verbale sent to the United Nations. “If there had been a significant probability of collision involving the China Space Station, the United States would have provided a close approach notification directly to the designated Chinese point of contact.

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UNOOSA and Airbus Pick African Team to Fly “Free” Climate Monitoring Payload on the International Space Station

Bartolomeo external experiment platform (Credit: NASA)

VIENNA, 26 October 2021 (Airbus PR) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus Defence and Space have selected the winner of their joint opportunity for a free one year mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The climate mission supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will fly on Bartolomeo, the Airbus external payload hosting platform.

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UK Working with Global Partners to Clear up Dangerous Space Debris

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency is today announcing a range of different initiatives aimed at supporting safe and sustainable space operations.

From developing our space tracking capabilities and promoting international efforts in space sustainability, to finding novel ways of removing space debris – the UK is leading the way to ensure the Earth’s orbit can continue to be used now and in the future.

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G7 Nations Commit to the Safe and Sustainable Use of Space

CORNWALL, UK, 13 June 2021 (UK Space Agency PR) — Today at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, delegates from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, the UK and the EU pledged to take action to tackle the growing hazard of space debris as our planet’s orbit becomes increasingly crowded.

One of the biggest global challenges facing the space sector is orbital congestion and space debris. There are currently an estimated 900,000 pieces of space debris including old satellites, spent rocket bodies and even tools dropped by astronauts orbiting Earth. Space debris could stay in orbit for hundreds of years and present a real danger to the rapidly increasing number of new satellites being launched each year.

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