Earth bound competition is not enough for the guys swapping the ‘World’s Richest” title every other week. They’ve taken their beef to the stars. What’s this all about, now?
First things first, Project Starlink v. Project Kuiper
Starlink. In this corner, we have Elon Musk’s Starlink from SpaceX. SpaceX’s plan. Is to deploy 12,000 satellites to build an internet network which can deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on the planet. They are in the lead with more than 1,000 satellites so far in orbit.
Kuiper. Jeff Bezos’ project has plans to launch 3,236 internet satellites into low Earth orbit, but just plans for now. No satellites have been deployed. Their satellites would compete with Starlink’s once launched –in December, they passed a critical early hardware milestone for the antennas needed to connect to the network. The FCC in July authorized Amazon’s proposal for Kuiper in July 2020.
If we’re going by names alone, let’s hand it to Musk because you can’t even figure out how to pronounce “Kuiper” and it sounds too much like “creeper” for a satellite system.
Who’s on first?
It does not serve the public to hamstring Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from operation— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021
Is Amazon really just a spoiled brat?
“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. 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,” per statement from Amazon spokesperson.
Space is black but this isn’t black and white
It’s a tough call for the FCC, and it isn’t going to be made by Ajit Pai, which is probably a good thing.
But SpaceX leadership estimates that Starlink could bring in as much as $30 billion a year, or more than 10 times the annual revenue of its rocket business.
That’s definitely green.