Elon Musk‘s SpaceX claims there was no “close call” between Starlink and OneWeb satellites in orbit after reports suggested an incident “almost ended in disaster”.
Reports released by The Verge on April 9 claimed the two satellites came within 190 feet of each other in orbit on April 4, which sparked several “red alerts” from the US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron.
However, SpaceX’s director of satellite policy, David Goldman, has disputed the claims that the incident was a “close call”, as the publication described it.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, he wrote: “Despite recent reports to the contrary, the parties made clear that there was no “close call” or “near miss”.
“SpaceX and OneWeb agreed that they had conducted successful coordination, resulting in a positive outcome.
“The probability of collision never exceeded the threshold for manoeuvre and the satellites would not have collided even if no manoeuvre had been conducted.”
The FCC held a call on Tuesday to discuss the alleged false claims made in the report.
However, OneWeb Chief of Government, Chris McLaughlin, said “they would say that wouldn’t they” when questioned about the SpaceX response by MailOnline.
He also explained to the publication that when OneWeb contacted SpaceX’s team they said it would “make a manual manoeuvre to ensure our satellite doesn’t interfere with your satellite”.
However, McLaughlin claims that his organisation kicked into gear when SpaceX said “it might be better if we do nothing and you fly your satellite” claiming to have noticed that SpaceX had never demonstrated their automated collision system.