WASHINGTON (Reuters) Amazon’s (AMZN.O) first pair of satellites that are prototypes that will be used for the Kuiper internet network sent into orbit on the Friday morning from Florida it was the initial step prior to deploying thousands of satellites into orbit to provide internet access across the globe and challenge SpaceX’s Starlink.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with the Amazon logo launched on Cape Canaveral shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern time (1800 GMT) with two Kuiper test satellites, which has been a long-awaited mission Amazon originally planned to launch using a variety of rockets.
The mission will test Amazon’s initial pieces of space-based technology as the e-commerce, web services giant plans to deploy 336 satellites over the coming years and offer broadband internet throughout the world which is a feat Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aiming for with its more than five thousand Starlink satellites orbiting the earth.
In the days prior to launch day, Amazon provided a few details regarding the two satellites which were made at its satellite manufacturing plant situated in Redmond, Washington.
The live launch stream, which was provided by United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture, ceased just after rocket’s launch, but without showing the launch of satellites. Amazon later announced that the two satellites were in place and that its mission operations center was in contact with them.
Amazon has pledged that it will invest $10 billion in its Kuiper project. It was announced in the year 2019, the year SpaceX started deploying the first operating Starlink spacecraft.see
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has a requirement for Amazon to complete the deployment of half of its satellite network in 2026.
Internet broadband using satellites that orbit low Earth is thought to be in the 10 billion dollars in the coming decade.
With Starlink creating SpaceX the world’s biggest satellite operator, its other competitors include Canada’s Telesat that hasn’t launch satellites yet, as well as French satellite operator Eutelsat’s OneWeb that provides its Internet service to government agencies and companies.
Similar to SpaceX, Amazon aims to focus on both enterprise and individual customers through Kuiper which draws from its device playbook to create consumer-grade terminals for sale at a cost of $400 per although it hasn’t yet revealed pricing. SpaceX’s consumer Starlink terminals cost $599 for each.
In order to deploy the remainder of Kuiper’s network, Kuiper system, Amazon last year announced an agreement for a mass launch of an 83-launch launch – the biggest commercial rocket purchase ever from various rocket firms including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, ULA and Europe’s Arianespace.
Amazon and Bezos its founder face a shareholder lawsuit over the launch agreement that charges the company with failing to carry out due diligence and failing to take into account possible cheaper rockets from SpaceX, which is its main competitor SpaceX. SpaceX’s reused Falcon 9 rocket has been crucial to the rapid deployment of Starlink.click this