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Elon Musk has faced backlash from China following reports that the country's incomplete space station has had two dangerous "close encounters" with SpaceX satellites.

China recently complained that its station, which is still under construction, had to take urgent action to avoid major crashes with satellites launched by the billionaire's rocket company, according to a submitted document by the country.

The document was sent to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs earlier this month and claims that the space station had to implement “preventive collision avoidance control” on July 1 and October 21, reports Forbes.

The complaint stated that the encounters “constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station.”

Referring to the near collision which took place in October, the document read: “As the [Starlink] satellite was continuously manoeuvring, the manoeuvre strategy was unknown and orbital errors were hard to be assessed, there was thus a collision risk between the Starlink-2305 satellite and the China Space Station.

“To ensure the safety and lives of in-orbit astronauts, the China Space Station performed an evasive manoeuvre again… to avoid a potential collision between the two spacecraft.”

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Musk has since been slammed on Chinese social media site Weibo, with a number of users criticising the tech tycoons plans for space, Reuters said on Monday.

The country started building its space station this year April and successfully launched its Tianhe core module. It expects work to be done by the end of 2022.

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  • Nasa
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  • China
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