Amazon switches launch providers, to launch internet satellite prototypes in 2023

By Tarutr Malhotra
October 13, 2022, Updated on : Thu Oct 13 2022 08:03:37 GMT+0000
Amazon switches launch providers, to launch internet satellite prototypes in 2023
Amazon will launch its first two satellite prototypes for Project Kuiper next year, in competition with SpaceX's Starlink. The satellites will now be launched on rockets built by United Launch Alliance, a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture.
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Amazon will launch the first two satellite prototypes for a planned internet-from-space constellation under Project Kuiper in early 2023. The satellites will be launched on rockets built by a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture called United Launch Alliance (ULA).


As reported by Reuters, the satellites were initially supposed to be launched with startup ABL Space Systems in late 2022, but repeated delays led Amazon to switch the launch providers. The ULA launch will be a debut for Project Kuiper and the launch company.


Amazon's internet satellite constellation will be a competitor to SpaceX's Starlink project, whose first launches were conducted in 2018. The Elon Musk-led venture has already put 3,399 satellites in space and its internet service is available in over 40 countries and territories.


The report has not been independently verified by YourStory.


Amazon has vowed to invest $10 billion into Project Kuiper to launch 3,236 low Earth orbit satellites as soon as possible to catch up with Starlink's head-start. The company has not announced an exact schedule for the launches, although US communications regulators require at least half the constellation to be up by 2026.


The last minute switch to the ULA Vulcan rocket should prove to be a useful test for Amazon, as it has bought space on 38 future Vulcan rocket launches to deploy the bulk of its satellites.


Edited by Swetha Kannan