A row erupted on Tuesday between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, as tech giants traded barbs over competing satellite internet projects being evaluated by regulators.
Amazon, founded and led by Bezos, released a statement claiming that SpaceX’s competing project, Starlink, was seeking design changes that could “create a more dangerous collision environment in space” and also increase wireless interference.
“Despite what SpaceX publishes on Twitter, it is the proposed changes from SpaceX that would impede competition between satellite systems,” Amazon said in a statement, explaining its objections to the regulators.
“It’s clearly in SpaceX’s interest to stifle competition in the bud if they can, but that’s definitely not in the public’s interest.”
Meanwhile, Musk launched his objection to the Amazon complaint, claiming that his plan is moving faster than his.
“It does not serve the public,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “Today, Starlink disrupts the Amazon satellite system, which is, at best, several years out of commission.”
Musk, who is also the founder of Tesla and recently beat Bezos as the world’s richest person, in a race against Amazon’s $ 10 billion Project Kuiper satellite internet delivery system, which won US regulatory approval to deploy more than 3,000 low-orbit satellites.
SpaceX is deploying small satellites to form a world wide system and is lobbying regulators for permission to move them to low orbits, which has spooked Amazon.
SpaceX argued in a letter to the FCC that the required orbit modifications would not increase the chances of interference with competing satellites.
It claimed that any allegations of such interference were “misleading”, and that Amazon was trying to “stifle the competition.”
SpaceX on Sunday launched its record-breaking Falcon 9 rocket on board.
Scientists have expressed concerns about the number of objects blocking space around Earth. SpaceX says its satellites are designed to burn up in the atmosphere within a few years.
Project Kuiper aims to provide satellite-based broadband services in the United States and, ultimately, worldwide, and may provide connectivity to wireless carriers and 5G networks.
gc / rl / sst