Elon Musk’s SpaceX says Jeff Bezos’ lawsuits have ‘become a bigger bottleneck than the technology’ as his companies have filed complaints roughly every 16 days this year

Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos (left) and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Axel Springer
  • Elon Musk said Jeff Bezos has taken on suing SpaceX as his “full-time job.”
  • On Tuesday, SpaceX issued a response to a protest letter from Amazon designed to halt Starlink Gen2.
  • In the letter, SpaceX called Bezos’ lawsuits a massive “bottleneck” to the company’s progress.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The billionaires are at it again. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took aim at Jeff Bezos on Wednesday, as the two continue their increasingly competitive space race.

“Filing legal actions against SpaceX is *actually* his full-time job,” Musk tweeted about the Blue Origin executive, echoing an earlier tweet that referenced Bezos’ retirement as Amazon’s CEO.

The tweet comes a day after SpaceX issued a response to a protest letter from Amazon about SpaceX’s plans to expand its Starlink network of internet satellites.

In the letter to the FCC, SpaceX called Amazon’s request a “continuation of efforts by the Amazon family of companies to hinder competitors to compensate for Amazon’s failure to make progress of its own.”

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.

Starlink is part of Musk’s vision to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites that would deliver high-speed internet to customers anywhere on the planet. Amazon’s satellite-internet subsidiary – Kuiper Systems – has a similar vision, but is expected to take about a decade to fully deploy its planned 3,236 satellites. While the Starlink service is still in beta, the company has over 100,000 users in 14 countries so far. SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, and its second generation project plans to have nearly 30,000 satellites in total.

The SpaceX letter pointed out that Bezos’ companies including Amazon and Blue Origin have averaged about one complaint every 16 days over the past year. It said that the lawsuit’s have “become a bigger bottleneck than the technology,” harking back to Bezos’ own words regarding the impact of regulatory issues like lawsuits and protests on the progress of his space company, Blue Origin.

The letter also made reference to efforts that Blue Origin has made to halt SpaceX’s progress on a contract with NASA for a lunar-landing system.

The company has filed multiple protests against NASA’s decision to select SpaceX over Blue Origin for its project to put boots on the moon. Most recently, Bezos’ company took the issue to federal court, calling the NASA decision “unfair” and essentially halting SpaceX’s work on the project.

SpaceX also said Amazon has been more focused on slowing down SpaceX than improving its own satellite project, pointing out that it needs to address issues related to orbital debris and radiofrequency interference before it can deploy its own satellite.

It’s not the first time Musk has sparred with Bezos over Twitter. Last week, Musk said Bezos retired as CEO of Amazon to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX.

When Bezos initially complained about the NASA decision for its lunar landing project Musk tweeted, “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”

“If lobbying and lawyers could get u to orbit, Bezos would be on Pluto rn,” he said.

Spokespeople from Amazon and SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Do you work for Blue Origin or SpaceX? Reach out to the reporter at [email protected]