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European Space Agency satellite changed course to avoid SpaceX craft



The ESA Aeolus Earth observation satellite fired its thrusters as part of a "collision avoidance maneuver," according to a statement from ESA.

In its original path lay a satellite owned by Elon Musk's SpaceX that is part of the company's Starlink system, which aims to set up a constellation of thousands of satellites capable of beaming the Internet to every corner of the Earth.

ESA contacted Starlink, which said it did not plan to move its satellite, according to the statement, so the ESA team decided to increase the altitude of its Aeolus satellite to avoid collision.

The maneuver took place about half an orbit before potential collision, according to ESA.

CNN has contacted SpaceX for comment.

" It is very rare to perform collision avoidance maneuvers with active satellites, "ESA said in a tweet.

" The vast majority of ESA avoidance maneuvers are the result of dead satellites or fragments from previous collisions. "[1

9659008] SpaceX says most of its Internet satellites are fully functional ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190529132731-spacex-starlink-mission-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

These maneuvers take a long time to execute, and it will soon become impossible to manually avoid collisions in space as

Starlink alone could attract thousands of satellites, and rival internet constellations from Amazon and OneWeb are also in the pipeline.

In response, ESA is working on artificial intelligence ( AI) a system to automate the process of avoiding collisions in space.

"No one was at fault here, but this example does show the urgent need for proper space traffic management, with clear communication protocols and more automation," Holger Krag, Head of Space Safety at ESA, said in a statement.

"This is how air traffic control has worked for many decades, and now space operators need to get together to define automated manoeu time coordination. "

 Europe is sending an alien hunting camera to Mars

The trade-off for increased satellite traffic in space will be low-cost internet for

However, getting satellite constellation up and running will cost around $ 10 billion and will involve 12 rocket launches to get satellites into position, Musk said before the first Starlink satellite launch in May.


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