SpaceX, Amazon spar over satellite Internet projects

Katie Ramirez
January 27, 2021

His business seeks to convince Federal Communications Commission officials that SpaceX should shift some of its Starlink satellites to lower altitudes than initially intended.

Starlink, which is now operating on a beta-trial basis, and Amazon's yet-to-be launched Project Kuiper constellation both seek to make global broadband internet access available to billions of people who are now underserved - as well as to specialized markets ranging from military communications to cloud computing.

The first Starlink satellites launched to polar orbit are equipped with laser crosslinks, a technology the company plans to add to other satellites next year.

SpaceX included 10 satellites from Starlink in its dedicated Transport Share 1 launch on January 24.

SpaceX retracted its calls to the FCC, saying its plans would not further interfere with what it called "Amazon's still-nascent plans". We designed the Kuiper System to avoid interference with Starlink, and now SpaceX wants to change the design of its system.

"These changes not only create a more risky environment for collisions in space, but they also increase radio interference for customers".

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But in FCC filings discovered and posted to Twitter by CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz, SpaceX shot back, accusing Amazon of stifling competition and making "misleading claims of interference". "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".

Elon Musk's SpaceX aviation organization has launched 143 spacecraft into space on Sunday.

Amazon's current plans include putting some of its satellites into orbit roughly 590 km (or about 366 miles) above the Earth's surface.

Project Kuiper aims to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the United States, and eventually around the world, and may offer connectivity for wireless carriers and 5G networks. It should be noted that Elon Musk's company isn't the sole one that performs this sort of service, with other ventures offering the likelihood of sending objects to Earth orbit during a quite Uber for satellites. for instance, Virgin Orbit may be a project with which a variety of economic aircraft was modified to possess the power to place elements on the brink of orbit. The company has secured licensing from authorities to launch more than 12,000 satellites.

The aerospace company said the satellites can serve both residential and US government users in hard-to-reach polar regions.

Amazon argued in documents filed with the FCC, however, that SpaceX's proposed changes could actually put Starlink satellites at risk of colliding with Kuiper satellites.

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