A new batch of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites was launched into orbit recently, prompting Amazon to file a protest against the said launch. SpaceX successfully launched a total of its 1,700 Starlink internet satellites, which covers around 100,000 paying customers worldwide.
Elon Musk, the founder, CEO, and Chief Engineer at SpaceX, took to Twitter to criticize Bezos, founder of Amazon, saying: “Turns out Besos retired in order to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX.”
Amazon’s protest was filed by its subsidiary, Kuiper Systems, with Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Musk said the protest was “personal” against SpaceX.
Kuiper Systems is developing its internet satellites to compete with SpaceX.
Kuiper Systems sought approval from the FCC in 2020 to build the constellation of 3,236 satellites. This can serve around 95 percent of the world’s population. They are yet to launch such satellites. On the other hand, Musk’s company is seeking approval from the FCC to operate 30,000 satellites.
The protest is asking the Commission to block SpaceX from launching another batch of Starlink satellites. In the filing, Kuiper Systems said it is not asking to stop Starlink altogether, but it is questioning SpaceX’s plans as they believe it goes against FCC’s rules.
Mariah Dodson Shuman, corporate counsel for Kuiper Systems, wrote in the document the following, “The SpaceX Amendment proposes two different configurations for the nearly 30,000 satellites of its Gen2 System, each of which arranges these satellites along very different orbital parameters. SpaceX’s novel approach of applying for two mutually exclusive configurations is at odds with both the Commission’s rules and public policy, and we urge the Commission to dismiss this amendment.”
Bezos, likewise, filed a claim against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) earlier this month. It is still linked to SpaceX as he claimed that the $2.9 billion lunar lander contract was unfairly awarded to Musk’s company.