- SpaceX responded on Thursday to Amazon’s latest jab over its plans to expand Starlink.
- The previous day, Amazon took aim at Elon Musk, saying the CEO believes “rules are for other people.”
- The letter is one of five heated exchanges between the two companies over the satellite system.
In the latest in a series of spats between Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’ companies, SpaceX called Amazon out for its “theatrics” and “gamesmanship” in its complaints against Starlink Gen2.
“As usual, Amazon tries to prevent a fair review on the merits by using procedural gamesmanship,” SpaceX said in its letter to the Federal Communications Commission. “Despite its theatrics, Amazon does not identify a single fact, figure or scintilla of data that SpaceX omitted from its application.”
SpaceX’s response comes on the heels of a fiery letter from Amazon on Wednesday. The letter was Amazon’s most recent installment in a series of five exchanges from the two companies to the FCC discussing SpaceX’s plans to extend its Starlink satellite network.
In its letter, Amazon targeted Musk, saying the SpaceX CEO and his companies believe “rules are for other people.” The letter accused SpaceX of distracting from the real issue — the fact that the company had not narrowed its Starlink Gen2 proposal down to one option — and focusing on personal attacks against Amazon and Bezos instead. Amazon highlighted Musk’s propensity to tweet about company issues.
Last week, Musk said on Twitter that suing SpaceX was Bezos’ “full-time job.” At the time, SpaceX said that lawsuits from Bezos’ companies, including Amazon and Blue Origin, had “become a bigger bottleneck than the technology,” pointing out that the companies had filed complaints against SpaceX roughly every 16 days this year.
In its letter dated Thursday, SpaceX urged the FCC to focus on the merits of its proposal and criticized Amazon for what it described as a lack of progress on its own satellite system.
“Another week, another objection from Amazon against its competitor, yet still no sign of progress on Amazon’s own long-rumored satellite system,” SpaceX said.
Starlink is part of Musk’s vision to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites that would deliver high-speed internet to customers anywhere on the planet. Amazon’s satellite-internet subsidiary — Kuiper Systems — has a similar vision, but is expected to take about a decade to fully deploy its planned 3,236 satellites. While the Starlink service is still in beta, the company has over 100,000 users in 14 countries so far. SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, and its second generation project plans to have nearly 30,000 satellites in total.
Amazon’s latest complaint against SpaceX is one of many filed by companies affiliated with Bezos. Blue Origin, a space company launched by the billionaire, has filed multiple protests against NASA’s decision to select SpaceX over Blue Origin for its project to put boots on the moon. Most recently, Blue Origin took the issue to federal court, calling the NASA decision “unfair” and essentially halting SpaceX’s work on the project.