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In 2020, the company announced investing $10 billion in the initiative.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is planning to roll out the first two satellites of its space-based internet constellation in early 2023. According to an official announcement on the 12th of October, Amazon said it is launching two prototypes of its Project Kuiper. Namely, Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 will be completed this year and be deployed on the first flight of United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) new Vulcan Centaur rocket in early 2023. Project Kuiper is an Amazon initiative that targets the deployment of a constellation of internet satellites in low Earth orbit. The multinational company wants to launch thousands of internet satellites in certain regions with no broadband access. The Amazon internet satellites will provide connectivity to these “unserved and underserved communities.” In 2020, the company announced investing $10 billion in the initiative.
Amazon Is Rolling Out Prototype Kuiper Internet Satellites in 2023
While revealing plans to launch the two internet satellites in 2023, Amazon explained the assembly of Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2. The launch of the first intelligent satellites will push Amazon a step further in its vision. As stated in the press release, the design is for ULA to provide 47 launches for the satellite constellation. Additionally, the rocket will roll out from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“Our prototype mission will help us test how the different pieces of our satellite network work together, adding real-world data from space to results from our extensive lab testing, fieldwork, and simulation. We’ll use findings from the mission to finalize design, deployment, and operational plans for our commercial satellite system, which will provide reliable, affordable broadband to customers around the world.”
The vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, Rajeev Badyal, also commented. Badyal expressed his excitement over the development of the internet satellites at Amazon. He said the company as a whole is delighted with the first launch of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur. The VP noted that the team has already secured 38 Kuiper launches on Vulcan. He continued:
“…and using the same launch vehicle for our prototype mission gives us a chance to practice payload integration, processing, and mission management procedures ahead of those full-scale commercial launches.”
Furthermore, Amazon spoke about securing 92 launches with ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Origin to deploy a constellation of 3,236 satellites. Notably, that marks the largest commercial procurement launch vehicles in history. The tech giant also said earlier this year that its deal with ULA is beyond satellite deployments. Under the contract, the duo agreed on production and launch infrastructure. The company mentioned investing in new products and launching infrastructures in the US, along with its partners.