SpaceX founder Elon Musk has rejected criticism that his Starlink satellites are taking up too much room in space.
His comments came in response to a claim from Josef Aschbacher, head of the European Space Agency, that Musk’s rush to launch thousands of communications satellites would leave fewer radio frequencies and orbital slots available for others.
“Space is just extremely enormous, and satellites are very tiny,” Musk told the Financial Times. “This is not some situation where we’re effectively blocking others in any way. We’ve not blocked anyone from doing anything, nor do we expect to.”
On Tuesday, China accused the US of irresponsible and unsafe conduct in space over two “close encounters” between the Chinese space station and the satellites operated by SpaceX.
Tiangong, China’s new space station, had to manoeuvre to avoid colliding with one Starlink satellite in July and with another in October, according to a note submitted by Beijing to the United Nations space agency this month.
SpaceX has raised $337 million in equity financing, the rocket company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
The company, which counts Alphabet and Fidelity Investments among its investors, hit $100 billion in valuation following a secondary share sale in October, according to CNBC.
It had raised about $1.16 billion in equity financing in April.
- AFP and Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell