Launch of a SpaceX rocket in Florida: risk of collision in space?
Photo: SPACEX / HANDOUT / EPA-EFE / REX
It's getting tight in the sky: a curious argument about orbits has broken out between the two richest men in the world, Tesla boss Elon Musk and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos.
For his space company SpaceX, Musk wants permission from the American telecommunications regulator FCC to allow some satellites to fly closer to earth.
The company Kuiper, which belongs to Jeff Bezos' online retailer Amazon and also wants to set up a network of satellites for Internet supply, is against it.
Such disputes tend to be fought without much publicity, but Musk raised the conflict on Twitter on Tuesday.
He criticized that it would not be in the public interest to hinder the Space X project called "Starlink" today, while Amazon's satellite system would "at best only be operational in a few years".
Amazon countered that the SpaceX plans would increase the risk of collisions in space and cripple competitors in the business.
"It is clearly in SpaceX's interest to nip the competition in the bud, but it is definitely not in the public interest," said a tweet from Amazon.
SpaceX plans to build a network of around 12,000 satellites around the world to provide Internet coverage.
There are now more than 1000 of them in space.
Amazon's Kuiper has so far received a fleet of over 3200 satellites from the FCC, but has not yet launched any.
Musk and Bezos are by far the richest people in the world right now - largely because of the value of the stakes in their companies.
According to calculations by the financial service Bloomberg, Musk last had a fortune of 210 billion dollars, Bezos 194 billion.
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