The tech firm has secured up to 83 launches over a five-year period, which the company claims is the greatest commercial launch vehicle procurement in history. Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have agreed to deploy the majority of Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellites, which aim to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to a wide variety of clients around the world.
- The tech firm has secured up to 83 launches over a five-year period, which the company claims is the greatest commercial launch vehicle procurement in history.
- The contracts call for 18 launches on Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rockets, 12 launches on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s New Glenn, with options for up to 15 more launches, and 38 flights on ULA’s newest heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Vulcan Centaur.
- The announcement brings Amazon’s satellite internet constellation one step closer to reality, as Elon Musk’s SpaceX continues to launch more Starlink satellites, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched to about 2300, and increasing Starlink’s global subscriber base to about 2.5 lakh.
- Amazon’s current agreement with ULA comes in addition to a previous agreement with the space launch company to acquire nine Atlas V vehicles, which was revealed in April of last year.
- In addition, Project Kuiper hopes to fly two test missions aboard ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket later this year.
- According to Amazon, the two prototype satellites – KuiperSat-1 and 2 – will incorporate most of the technology and subsystems that will power the company’s production satellite design, and are an essential step in the development process.
- The US Federal Communications Commission approved Amazon’s Project Kuiper in July 2020, with a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).
- The corporation unveiled Project Kuiper’s low-cost consumer terminal, which could deliver rates of up to 400 Mbps.
- The Seattle-based firm said it is designing and building the complete system in-house, which will include a constellation of advanced LEO satellites, compact, affordable consumer terminals, and a secure, robust ground-based communications network.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Amazon CEO: Andrew R. Jassy;
- Amazon Founded: 5 July 1994.