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The European Space Agency has revealed that it had to maneuver its Aeolus Earth science satellite to avoid a potential collision with a SpaceX Starlink satellite.

In a series of tweets, ESA revealed it had to fire the thrusters on the satellite to move it and avoid colliding with Starlink 44 as the orbital paths of the two vehicles intercepted each other 320 kilometers above Earth.

ESA's head of Space Debris Office Holger Krag said that the agency's conjunction assessment team noticed the potential close approach about five days earlier using data from the U.S. Air Force's 18th Space Control Squadron, which monitors space traffic.

Collision probability increased over the following days prompting ESA to start the maneuver preparation and share the plans with SpaceX. Elon Musk's company, however, refused to move its satellite even after learning of the potential collision.

"Based on this we informed SpaceX, who replied and said that they do not plan to take action," Krag said.

Why is this not surprising? To read more, click here.
Category: Science