Chinese satellite almost hit by Russian ASAT test debris
(20 Jan 2022) A small Chinese satellite had a near collision with one of the many chunks of debris left by the fallout of a recent Russian anti-satellite missile test, state media reported.
Russia blew up one of its old satellites in November in a missile test that sparked international anger because of the space debris it scattered around the Earth's orbit.
Russia dismissed any concerns and denied that the space debris posed any danger. However, China's Tsinghua Science Satellite came as close as 14.5 metres from a piece of debris, the state-run Global Times reported. The "extremely dangerous" event happened on 18 January, the report added.
[The satellite was launched for Tsinghua University as secondary payload next to the Gaofen 9-04 satellite aboard a Chang Zheng 2D on 6 August 2020. The satellite is also known as TKW (Tsinghua Kexue Weixing) or Q-Sat or TsinghuaScience (NORAD ID 46026, International designator 2020-054B). The small spacecraft is dedicated to the measurement of the density of the upper atmosphere and the earth's gravity field. – Ed.]
Last year there were close encounters between the Chinese space station and satellites operated by SpaceX, which led to Beijing accusing the U.S. of irresponsible and unsafe conduct in space.