Amazon has criticized SpaceX as a persistent rule-breaker amid an ongoing battle over the two companies’ plans to build competing satellite networks.
The dispute, which has been fought in lengthy filings with the Federal Communications Commission, is not new. But this time, Amazon sent FCC officials a list of Elon Musk’s past problems with other regulators.
It comes in a fresh attempt to delay SpaceX’s rapid schedule for deploying its broadband satellites.
“Try to get a Musk-led company to comply with aviation rules,” Amazon wrote in its filing, referring to Musk’s complaints that the FAA’s organizational structure has slowed SpaceX’s operations.
And she added, “Try to get a company led by Musk to abide by the rules of health and safety, referring to Problems Musk with officials who sought to close factories to limit the spread of the Corona virus.
This particular battle dates back to earlier this year when SpaceX proposed an upgrade to its Starlink network, a massive constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit designed to send broadband internet to rural areas.
SpaceX has more than 1,700 satellites in orbit so far, with about 100,000 customers using internet services in beta.
Amazon plans to launch a similar satellite network called Project Kuiper with more than 3,000 satellites. But it has not revealed plans to produce or launch any satellites into space so far.
Last month, SpaceX submitted a request to amend its proposal to the Federal Communications Commission, asking the commission to approve two plans to deploy Starlink satellites in the future.
The SpaceX filing said the company would only implement one of the two plans. Its decision depends primarily on how quickly the next generation of Starlink satellites will become available. And when will the Starship missile be ready to start launching the Starlink satellites?
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Since 2019, SpaceX has used its Falcon 9 rockets to launch dozens of dedicated Starlink satellites into space. But the Starship, a much larger rocket still in development, sends satellites much faster into target orbit.
Amazon dismissed the matter, saying SpaceX’s strategy of proposing two exclusive plans went against the rules. It also requires significant scrutiny by the FCC and other companies.
SpaceX’s move to develop new technologies is often faster than government agencies can regulate them, creating problems.
The FCC’s proposal for two interim plans is an attempt to bring the commission into line with SpaceX’s rapid development moves.
The company wants to deploy an upgraded generation of satellites that are built more and with additional capabilities such as laser links. That eliminates the need for ground stations. This is by allowing satellites to talk to each other and relay communications in orbit as they pass over user areas.
Read also: Why Starlink built a satellite base in the Irish Sea