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ESA head says Europe needs to stop facilitating Elon Musk's ambitions in space

Added 12-05-21 04:10:04pm EST - “Musk's thousands of satellites risk crowding others out of low-Earth orbits.” - Arstechnica.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Arstechnica.com: “Elon Musk being allowed to “make the rules” in space, ESA chief warns”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The head of the European Space Agency has urged the continent’s leaders to stop facilitating Elon Musk’s ambition to dominate the new space economy, warning that the lack of co-ordinated action meant the US billionaire was “making the rules” himself.

Josef Aschbacher, the new director-general of ESA, said that Europe’s readiness to help the rapid expansion of Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service risked hindering the region’s own companies from realising the potential of commercial space.

“Space will be much more restrictive [in terms of] frequencies and orbital slots,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “The governments of Europe collectively should have an interest to... give European providers equal opportunities to play on a fair market.”

Germany has recently applied to the International Telecommunications Union, which coordinates the use of wireless frequencies for carrying data, to grant Starlink spectrum for about 40,000 satellites. Musk has already won approval for more than 30,000 satellites through US regulators.

Earlier this year, Musk said SpaceX, his private rocket company, was prepared to spend up to $30 billion to expand Starlink.

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