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Elon Musk rejects claims his satellites are squeezing out rivals in space

Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad.

Enlarge / A SpaceX rocket ready for launch. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

Elon Musk has hit back at criticism that his company’s Starlink satellites are hogging too much room in space, and has instead argued there could be room for “tens of billions” of spacecraft in orbits close to Earth.

“Space is just extremely enormous, and satellites are very tiny,” Musk said. “This is not some situation where we’re effectively blocking others in any way. We’ve not blocked anyone from doing anything, nor do we expect to.”

His comments, made in an interview with the Financial Times, came in response to a claim from Josef Aschbacher, head of the European Space Agency, that Musk was “making the rules” for the new commercial space economy. Speaking to the FT earlier this month, Aschbacher warned that Musk’s rush to launch thousands of communications satellites would leave fewer radio frequencies and orbital slots available for everyone else.

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