Amazon is joining Elon Musk’s SpaceX and SoftBank-backed OneWeb in the race to launch low Earth orbit satellites to offer global high-speed internet connectivity.Sutrishna Ghosh
The race to space domination just got a little more interesting.
Following in the footsteps of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and SoftBank-backed OneWeb, Amazon recently revealed plans to launch over 3,000 low Earth orbit satellites to serve “tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet”.
Exciting right? Now, it didn’t take long for this news to reach Musk's ears, who has his own plans of building a satellite network to bring high-speed broadband internet to the world. So, when the SpaceX boss heard about Amazon’s (pretty similar sounding) plans, he did what all of us have done at one point or another – use an emoticon to express his emotions.
Taking a potshot at the Amazon CEO, he tagged Bezos and simply wrote “copy” followed by a cat emoji.
As part of Jeff Bezos' ambitious endeavor Project Kuiper, Amazon will be launching 3,236 satellites into space, media reports claimed. All of these satellites will be deployed at different altitudes, aimed at offering high-speed broadband connectivity to the “unserved and underserved communities around the world.”
At the moment, answers to questions such as how much it will cost, when will the network be live, or how Bezos will deploy the satellites into the orbit, are limited. However, Amazon has confirmed the project, and a spokesperson was quoted,
"This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision."
Amazon’s Project Kuiper might ring a bell. Earlier, reports were all about Musk and his ‘Starlink’ constellation comprising around 12,000 satellites, of which two test satellites were launched last year. Similar work is being undertaken by broadband startup OneWeb, whose plan involves building a first-gen network of over 600 satellites.
And now, Amazon is all set to join this race. Its ambitious plans, if reports are to be believed, involves getting on board some of the best minds in the business including Rajeev Badyal, Former SpaceX VP of satellites.
If all goes well, the space is about to get a lot more crowded!