Space is crowded with satellites launched by different countries. Each of these is designed to perform specific missions. The Tiangong space station of China had two "close encounters" in July and October involving American satellites. These were Starlink satellites of SpaceX owned by Elon Musk.

China has taken up the matter with the UN's space agency. The report of Beijing informs that its space station had to take evasive action to prevent colliding with SpaceX satellites. It seems the satellites moved into orbits, and such action took the space station operators by surprise.

They had to take prompt action to avoid an unpleasant situation. This is as per China's document submitted to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

Al Jazeera reports the incident tarnished the image of Elon Musk. Regarding the incident of October, Beijing said it was not easy for those in the space station to assess the maneuver strategy of the satellite. However, the astronauts inside the Tiangong space station were able to "ensure the safety and lives of in-orbit astronauts."

China says the United States put astronauts at risk

China's Foreign Ministry slammed the United States, ignoring obligations under outer space treaties. As a result, it put astronauts at risk. It seems there were a couple of incidents where SpaceX satellite could have collided with the Chinese space station Tiangong.

A spokesperson of the ministry said: "The US... ignores its obligations under international treaties, posing a serious threat to the lives and safety of astronauts." SpaceX is a private American company. It is independent of the U.S. military and civilian space agency NASA.

Starlink operates some 2,000 satellites that aim to provide widespread internet access.

However, in case of a collision, China's space station might have been lost along with everyone on board. The team operating the station deserves full credit for taking prompt evasive action. Space agencies have to evolve a mechanism to prevent such situations.

China wants to become a major space power

Although a late entrant in space research, China has made notable contributions in space exploration.

It sent a rover to the Moon to explore its far side. It was a novel concept and something no other country had ever tried. China has also brought back Moon rocks to the Earth for analysis.

Moreover, the latest mission of China is on Mars, where its rover Zhurong is in the company of American rovers Curiosity and Perseverance. Each of them has to work as per the plans of their respective mission controls. These rovers rely heavily on a combination of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and renewable energy to carry out predefined programs millions of miles away.

The space station of China will be operational by 2022

Tiangong is the latest achievement of China as it pursues a goal of becoming a major power in space.

For decades, America, Russia, and Europe have been in the field, and China wants to join the group. The core module of its space station is already in orbit, and it will be operational by 2022.

The reaction of the Chinese social media on the near misses for which Elon Musk and his company SpaceX have to take responsibility. One user on social media commented: "Washington would have imposed sanctions if the roles were reversed. Why don't we just do what they do?" Incidentally, the people of China admire Musk. His Tesla sells plenty of vehicles every month, and the company is building a wholly-owned factory in Shanghai.