'Jeff Bezos' full time job is to file lawsuits against SpaceX': Elon Musk

Elon Musk's Starlink project is directly in competition with Jeff Bezos' Project Kuiper to dominate the space internet field. The billionaires plan to launch thousands of satellites in coming months, to provide internet to distant regions of Earth.
File photo of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
File photo of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Published on Sep 02, 2021 01:12 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

SpaceX founder Elon Musk fired a shot at fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, saying that filing lawsuits against his company is his "full time job". This is the latest round of spat between the two companies in race to dominate the space internet field.

According to documents posted on Twitter by CNBC's space reporter Michael Sheetz, Amazon, founded by Bezos, asked the United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to dismiss SpaceX's latest amendment to its Starlink satellite network. Musk's company responded by calling it "the latest in continuing efforts by Amazon to slow down competition".

And then came Musk's salvo. "Filing legal actions against SpaceX is *actually* his full-time job," the SpaceX founder tweeted in response to Sheetz's post.

Starlink is SpaceX's ambitious project, launched by Musk to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites. It is competing with Amazon's Project Kuiper, which is also aiming to dominate the field.

Musk explained how the system will work. "Processing is not an issue. Lasers links alleviate ground station constraints, so data can go from say Sydney to London through space, which is ~40% faster speed of light than fiber & shorter path. Also, no need for ground stations everywhere. Arctic will have great bandwidth!" he said in response to another post on Twitter.

Musk also said that Starlink's satellites will be launching in next few months with inter-satellite laser links, which would not require local downlink.

Other major companies including Google, Apple and Amazon also rely on satellites to transmit data, as do telecom providers, government agencies and universities working on space research, insurance sources said.

The number of active satellites has jumped 68% from a year ago and more than 200% from five years ago.

There are 8,055 satellites roaming Earth's orbits, 42% of them inactive, according to Seradata, which tracks the statistics. Most operate in the Lower Eart Orbit (LEO), which extends 2,000 kilometres beyond Earth.

LEO satellites are much smaller than GEO satellites. Typically the size of a small refrigerator.

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Saturday, October 23, 2021