Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter Tuesday evening to call his long-term rival, the fellow-billionaire Jeff Bezos a copy cat over Amazon's intentions to launch 3, 236 satellites into orbit and deliver internet to under-served remote communities.
Musk's SpaceX has also been working on a similar project. Moreover, its Starlink division already received a green light from the Federal
Communications Commission last year to launch 11,943 satellites. In February 2018, the company already launched two experimental satellites in low Earth orbit.
According to Musk, the Starlink-driven project would grow to almost 12,000 satellites. SpaceX uses its own facility in Redmond, Washington and for now, it remains the market leader in this niche. Furthermore, Elon Musk asserted on numerous occasions that he was planning to use the Starlink internet services revenues to allow him to finance the building of a city on Mars.
Last year, there were ongoing rumors that the Seattle-based Amazon would join the race and compete directly with Musk to deliver broadband internet connection around the world via satellites in low Earth orbit.
Amazon later confirmed it was working on a ''big, audacious space project.'' The company revealed the initiative under the code name Project Kuiper.
Project Kuiper made its first step towards achieving its ambitious goals last month when it submitted three sets of filings with the International Telecommunications Unit in Washington DC.
Amazon explained that these 3,236 satellites would grant data coverage for remote spaces on Earth where the population is under-served when it comes to internet access.
Amazon still has not decided where the satellites will be produced and assuming the time it takes to get all the necessary regulatory approvals, we can conclude Bezos' project is two or three years behind Musk.
Despite their common goals, Musk and Bezos do not try to hide their years-old feud. For instance, last week Bezos hired Rajeev Badyal, the former SpaceX vice president of satellites and several key members of his team to lead Amazon's Project Kuiper.
Rumor had it that Musk fired Badyal earlier last year as he was unsatisfied with the slow progress of the space project.
The United Nations previously estimated that 4 billion people around the world do not have proper access to the internet which is becoming vital as the world grows connected and digital.
Do you think that two of the wealthiest men on Earth would solve this issue?