Amazon says Project Kuiper strives to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to customers, including homes, businesses, government mechanisms, disaster relief operations, mobile operators, and other institutions “working in places without reliable internet connectivity.”
Like Elon Musk’s Starlink, consumers will connect to the net via a terminal that corresponds with the satellites. Amazon says its understanding of shipping and making creations like Echo and Kindle will assist in producing and distributing these.
Arianespace will make the rockets, Blue Origin – which Amazon owner Jeff Bezos launched – and United Launch Alliance.
Rival Starlink is said to have higher than 2,300 satellites in orbit already.
Over the next 5 years, three new heavy-lift rockets will put thousands of satellites into low earth orbit as Amazon’s Project Kuiper domain.
The project aims to deliver broadband connections. “Project Kuiper will provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in unserved and underserved communities worldwide,” said Dave Limp, senior vice-president for Amazon Devices & Services, in a statement announcing the deal.
Amazon designs 83 launches over the next five years, saying it includes “the largest commercial procurement of launch vehicles.”
The firm is preparing two “prototype” missions later this year – but using a rocket made by ABL Space Systems, not the three that will launch the bulk of the satellites.
The Vulcan Centaur will be one of the new rockets used for the launch (artists impression)
Unlike Falcon 9 rockets, the three new rockets employed for Project Kuiper’s launches are still developing.
Another satellite internet business OneWeb, which is part-owned by the British government, lately decided to use SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets after losing admission to the Russian-built Soyuz rockets it had been using following the aggression of Ukraine.
Mr. Musk expects to launch as many as 30,000 Starlink satellites into outer space.
The value of this kind of low-earth orbit satellite internet has already been established in Ukraine. The US Agency for International Development said, in confluence with SpaceX, it had helped ship a capacity of 5,000 Starlink terminals to the country’s government.
But, as low-earth orbit evolves increasingly congested, astronomers have grumbled that the light reflected from these satellites as they roam overhead increasingly disrupts the idea of the night’s sky.