Amazon Launches First Rocket For The Broadband Satellites Project

Amazon will be competing directly with SpaceX, and the UK government-owned One Web in order to establish a constellation broadband-providing satellites. Project Kuiper will see Amazon purchasing the largest commercial launch batch in history and securing space for 83 rockets to launch 3,236 satellites.

Amazon Launches First Rocket For The Broadband Satellites Project

The company announced that Amazon will be competing directly with SpaceX, and the UK government-owned One Web in order to establish a constellation broadband-providing satellites.

Project Kuiper will see Amazon purchasing the largest commercial launch batch in history and securing space for 83 rockets to launch 3,236 satellites.

"We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team continues to hit milestone after milestone across all aspects of our satellite system," Dave Limp (Amazon senior vice-president devices and services), stated.

"These launch agreements are a reflection of our incredible belief and commitment to Project Kuiper. We're proud that we have such a strong lineup of partners to help us achieve our mission."

Amazon's rivals have a longer lead time. SpaceX currently has 2,110 satellites orbiting as part of Starlink's broadband network. One Web launched 428 out of 648 planned launches in its initial batch.

Project Kuiper will launch its first satellites in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company is still waiting to see the results from the demonstration mission before committing to a full launch.

Space-based internet companies have become more competitive as they vie for space on rockets that can take them to orbit. OneWeb, which is partly owned by the UK after the Treasury saved the company in 2020 from bankruptcy, was forced to postpone plans for a March launch after the conflict in Ukraine. SpaceX was able to support the company by signing a deal to place its satellites on the backs of rival rockets.

SpaceX increased the price of a launch earlier this year by 12%, "to account excessive levels of inflation", marking the first increase in the standard price for a launch in almost six years. Private launches of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket cost $67m (PS51m).

Jeff Bezos is the Amazon founder. However, Blue Origin will provide only a fraction of the spaceflight capacity needed to launch Project Kuiper into orbit. Amazon has signed 12 contracts for Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket launches, with options to add 15 more. It also secured 18 launches on Arianespace's Ariane 6 rocket in France, 38 launches on United Launch Alliance's Vulcan rocket, and the last nine launches from Atlas V.

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