Advanced Television

Amazon objects to SpaceX development plan

August 31, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Amazon, in a formal letter to the FCC last week, has objected to SpaceX enhanced plan for almost 30,000 new Starlink satellites and their adjusted orbits.

SpaceX, in two submissions, said it could offer a better service by adjusting the existing planned orbits.

Amazon, which is developing its own low Earth orbiting system, Project Kuiper/Kuiper Systems, said that SpaceX by filing two separate submissions is breaking the FCC’s own rules which insist that details need to be agreed and settled before filing such applications.

Amazon also complains that the SpaceX ‘double application’ also doubles the amount of work they have to do in terms of potential interference and their worries about orbital collision and debris.

Amazon’s FCC letter said: “By leaving nearly every major detail unsettled—such as altitude, inclination, and even the total number of satellites—SpaceX’s application fails every test [of the FCC’s rules]. And with respect to the requirement that license applications contain a ‘comprehensive proposal’, SpaceX’s proposed amendment contains either two comprehensive proposals or none at all. The effects cascade throughout SpaceX’s entire amendment. As one example, SpaceX is forced to seek a waiver of “the limitations in Schedule S” because, among other reasons, Schedule S does not allow it to “properly characterize the relationship between [its] two orbital configurations.”

Kuiper is asking the FCC to enforce its own rules and for the FCC “to invite SpaceX to resubmit its amendment after settling on a single configuration for its Gen2 System.”

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