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Amazon.com Inc.’s Kuiper Systems LLC asked US regulators for permission to launch another 4,538 satellites that would bolster its constellation as it competes with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for broadband-from-space customers.

The additions would bring Kuiper’s constellation to 7,774 satellites, the company said in a filing Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission. 

Kuiper and Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. each have applications before the FCC for satellite fleets in low-earth orbit. The companies have been sparring in recent months, with Amazon contending that SpaceX hasn’t met regulatory requirements. SpaceX dismissed the criticism as irrelevant.

SpaceX has emerged as a space leader, having launched at least 1,700 of its Starlink broadband satellites with plans for thousands more. Amazon.com earlier won FCC approval for 3,236 satellites, and says it will launch two prototypes late next year. London-based OneWeb is building a fleet of 648 satellites. The Boeing Co. on Nov. 3 won permission from the FCC for a fleet of 147 communications satellites.

 

 

 

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