After the incident involving the Chinese space station (SSC) and satellites of the Starlink constellation, Elon Musk commented on some criticism against him. The CEO of SpaceX simply believes that there is room for everyone in space.
Critics rain on the Starlink project
According to Chinese authorities, the SSC space station (see image below) has avoided twice, on July 1 and October 21, 2021, satellites of SpaceX’s Starlink project. Since then, criticism has rained down in China and the state has even filed a complaint with the UN. An article in the British daily Financial Times published on December 28, 2021 reported a response from Elon Musk. Nevertheless, this interview with the boss of SpaceX predates the complaint from China.
In reality, Elon Musk was responding to the criticisms of Josef Aschbache, director general of the European Space Agency (ESA). The latter had denounced the spacex rush about the launch of its Starlink constellation. Josef Aschbache deplored the dictates of rules by SpaceX in space for several years already. Moreover, according to him, Starlink satellites would reduce the orbital slots available and the number of radio frequencies.
Space big enough for everyone
In August 2021, we mentioned the fact that the Starlink project was already overshadowing its competitors by gradually approaching the performance of terrestrial broadband connections. Today, Starlink is the best satellite internet provider in the United States ahead of HughesNet and Viasat. The project has no less than 1,900 satellites in space and has an authorization to reach 12,000 units. However, Elon Musk will be able to obtain the right to launch 42,000 satellites in total.
The director of ESA thinks of a future where space congestion will unfortunately become unmanageable. According to him, the world should consult before this dangerous deadline. Elon Musk meanwhile said that space is big enough and that Starlink did not interfere with other projects In progress. However, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell explained that planning evasive maneuvers for satellites moving at 27,000 km/h can take hours or even days. The expert is therefore formal: the space close to our planet is already too crowded.
And if SpaceX has already made good progress with its constellation, let’s also remember that other players are following in its footsteps. The OneWeb project is already carrying out the put its 650 satellites into orbit with the support of the United Kingdom, Eutelsat (France) and Sunil Mittal (India). Let us also mention Amazon, which wants to launch its constellation called Kuiper, or the Chinese and European space agencies, which are also working on the same type of project.