SpaceX founder Elon Musk is once again the subject of controversy after China reported "close encounters" between SpaceX satellites and its space station.
In a complaint filed to the United Nations' space agency, the Chinese government said that it had two "close encounters" with Starlink satellites in July and October of this year.
To avoid a crash, the space station Tiangong had to maneuver around the SpaceX-operated satellites that orbit space in order to bring internet service to remote parts of the world.
The incidents, China said, infringed international space and "constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station."
Backlash In China
"How ironic that Chinese people buy Tesla ( (TSLA) - Get Free Report), contributing large sums of money so Musk can launch Starlink, and then he (nearly) crashes into China’s space station," one user wrote, according to Fortune.
This concludes an already turbulent year for Musk in the most populous country in the world. In the spring, protesters claiming that Tesla cars were posed a danger to consumers attempted to block entry to the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.
In June, Tesla actually did have to recall 300,000 Model 3 and Model Y cars due to a technical glitch.
Backlash Back Home
The news was also met with backlash back home, where Musk is already demonstratively dropping Tesla ( (TSLA) - Get Free Report) shares. He continues to face public pressure to contribute more to global solutions as the richest person in the world.
"The Chinese station was in a well known and not-changing orbit," Center for Astrophysics astronomer Jonathan McDowell wrote on Twitter. "It should be SpaceX's responsibility to stay well clear and to coordinate with China if they are going close."