On July 5, founder of one of the largest online retail companies in the world, Jeff Bezos, stepped down as CEO. Bezos had founded Amazon in the garage of his rented home in Seattle, 1994. What started as an online bookstore all those decades ago, morphed into a mammoth of a company, that is worth over $1.7 trillion. So what has Bezos doing since stepping down? If you asked Tesla boss and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, he’d say Bezos’ full time new job is suing SpaceX. Bezos, who has turned this attention to space after stepping down, had largely been focusing on Blue Origin and travel to the edge of space for a month after stepping down. But the space race between the two billionaires seems to not only have taken a bitter turn, but also turned legal, as early in August, Bezos sued America’s leading space agency, NASA, for giving a contract to Musk’s SpaceX.
Bezos’ Blue Origin sued the U.S government over NASA’s decision to award a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Blue Origin said its lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday is “an attempt to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA’s Human Landing System." It added it believes “the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America." Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sided with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration over its decision to pick a single lunar lander provider, rejecting Blue Origin’s protest.
That is not all Bezos has sued when it came to SpaceX. Amazon also asked the Federal Communications Commission to dismiss SpaceX’s latest amendment to its Starlink satellite network, which CNBC reported that “FCC dismissed the Starlink Gen2 amendment, calling it ‘a continuation of efforts by the Amazon family of companies to hinder competitors" and referencing Blue Origin’s lawsuit against NASA.'"
While Musk has been taking digs at Bezos and the lawsuit Blue Origin has filed against NASA and SpaceX on Twitter, although subtle, Musk finally responded to the lawsuit in a tweet on Wednesday, saying that suing SpaceX was Jeff Bezos’ current full-time job.
The ‘highlighted’ part Musk shared noted that, “Amazon has not updated the FCC in “nearly 400 days” on Kuiper’s approach to interference and orbital debris but “took only 4 days to object to” the SpaceX Gen2 amendment. While Amazon has waited 15 months to explain how its system works, it has lodged objections to SpaceX on average about every 16 days this year," explained the CNBC report of the David Goldman, SpaceX director of satellite policy’s response.
Amazon’s initial letter called for the FCC to require SpaceX to submit a new proposal because its proposal offered two options for how it would expand its satellite system, instead of one, reported CNBC.
In January this year, when the rift was more apparent, Musk had also said in a response, said, “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’s SpaceX has already launched more than 1,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service and is already signing up users for Starlink internet in the US, Canada, and the UK. Amazon, on the other hand, got permission from FCC to launch a fleet of 3,236 satellites last year.
According to a Bloomberg report in January, Amazon has earlier urged FCC to reject SpaceX’s request to put satellites into a lower orbit. It said that this would put SpaceX satellites in the middle of the Kupier System.