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SpaceX, Amazon spar over satellite Internet projects

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San Francisco, Jan 27 (IANS) Amazon is among the companies disputing SpaceX’s request to bring some of its Starlink satellites to altitudes lower than originally planned.

This led SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to accuse Amazon of trying to “hamstring” Starlink Internet.

“It does not serve the public to hamstring Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from operation,” Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday.

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Amazon’s Project Kuiper has the aim of delivering fast, affordable broadband through a constellation of over 3,000 low Earth orbit satellites.

SpaceX’s Starlink project has similar goals as it plans to deliver high-speed Internet through a network of about 12,000 satellites.

While SpaceX has already put over 1,000 of its Starlink satellites in orbit and has even begun initial beta testing, Amazon is yet to launch any satellites.

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SpaceX is trying to persuade the US Federal Communications Commission officials that the company should be allowed to move some of its Starlink satellites to lower altitudes.

Amazon has argued that allowing SpaceX to do so would “hamstring” competition among satellite systems.

“The facts are simple. We designed the Kuiper System to avoid interference with Starlink, and now SpaceX wants to change the design of its system,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.

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“Those changes not only create a more dangerous environment for collisions in space, but they also increase radio interference for customers.

“Despite what SpaceX posts on Twitter, it is SpaceX’s proposed changes that would hamstring competition among satellite systems. It is clearly in SpaceX’s interest to smother competition in the cradle if they can, but it is certainly not in the public’s interest,” the statement added.

–IANS

gb/in

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