Jeff Bezos is urged by Elon Musk to use Twitter for their long-term space spat escalates

The rivalry between SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has surfaced on Twitter. Again. (Musk Photo: TED via YouTube; Bezos Photo: GeekWire / Kevin Lisota)

Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, has sent a new round of insulting tweets to Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon and Blue Origin), in the middle of an ongoing regulatory battle over SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation, and Amazon’s rival Project Kuiper.

Space lasers also play a part in this case.

The spark that lit Musk’s latest flame war came after SpaceX sought the Federal Communications Commission’s approval to amend plans for sending up tens of thousands of Starlink satellites to provide global broadband service. SpaceX would be able to use the Starship mega-rocket currently in development to place its Gen2 satellites in a variety of orbits.

In response, Amazon urged the FCC to turn back SpaceX’s request, saying that the amendment proposes “two mutually exclusive configurations” for the Starlink constellation and leaves too many details unsettled. SpaceX responded by telling the FCC that Amazon had filed “only the most recent in its ongoing efforts to slow down competition.”

SpaceX complained to the FCC that Amazon wasn’t taking action on Project Kuiper. The FCC gave conditional approval to Amazon’s plans more than a year ago — provided that the Kuiper satellites didn’t interfere with previously approved satellite systems, including Starlink. SpaceX pointed out that Amazon had not yet submitted documents showing its plans to prevent interference and make sure safe satellite operations.

More than 1,700 first-generation Starlink satellites have already been launched in accordance with previous FCC approvals, and the internet service is currently in expanded beta testing.

The Starlink spat comes amid the backdrop of legal protests that Bezos’ other big brainchild, Blue Origin, has filed against NASA for awarding a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to SpaceX. Because of Blue Origin’s lawsuit, NASA and SpaceX have suspended work to adapt Starship as the landing system for a crewed mission to the moon, which is currently set for as early as 2024. This date is becoming increasingly unlikely due to the lawsuit.

Musk spoke out today about the FCC filings and the dispute over the lunar lander. He did not mention Bezos by name in his tweets.

Musk also mentioned Bezos in Twitter last week, but he mispelled his name.

Blue Origin and Amazon have not responded to our requests for information. However, it is unlikely that Bezos will respond to us. Bezos has not posted in over a year. Previous Musk taunts have also failed to gain a response. Bezos posts Instagram updates these days, including one that praises SpaceX. Musk has since deleted Instagram, but his older account remains as a favorite.

Meanwhile, the FCC has just posted a new filing in which Amazon seeks the commission’s go-ahead to test prototype antennas for Project Kuiper at its labs in Redmond, Wash.

“This grant would serve the public interest by enabling Amazon to further enhance and validate the components of the Kuiper System,” the company said.

No Kuiper satellites have been sent into orbit yet, but in April, Amazon struck a deal with United Launch Alliance for nine launches that would use ULA’s Atlas V rockets.

Publiated at Wed., 01 Sep 2021 02:01:05 +0000

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