Amazon and SpaceX are starting to quarrel a bit about the two companies’ investments in Project Kuiper and StarLink, respectively.
The reason for the disagreement is that StarLink wants to move some of the satellites that were allowed to be launched into an orbit below the one in which the satellites were allowed to lie. This is something that Amazon and other companies that deal with satellites have opposed. You think this may lead to disruptions to their current and future plans for their satellites.
StarLink has already launched more than 900 of the 12,000 satellites that have been granted permission. These are located in Earth’s lower orbit at an altitude of about 1,100 km above Earth. StarLink now wants permission to put some of its satellites into orbit about 580 kilometers from Earth.
Amazon’s Kuiper Project has obtained permission to launch about 3,000 satellites in an orbit of about 590 kilometers above Earth, but it hasn’t launched any of these satellites yet. In a statement why Amazon is opposed to StarLinks going nearly the same height as its satellites, Amazon said:
“We designed the Kuiper system to avoid interference with Starlink, and now SpaceX wants to change the design of its system.”
Elon Musk commented on the scandal on Twitter with:
“It is not serving the public that Starlink today disrupts the Amazon satellite system which is at best several years away from operation.”
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will now decide whether to allow SpaceX to place the StarLink satellites in less orbit than they were originally authorized. When they can come to a decision on it, there is no information about it yet.