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8th April 2022 (7 Topics)

Amazon patterns with three firms to launch its satellite internet constellation


Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) has secured rocket launches with three companies, as it spends billions on putting together a satellite constellation to beam broadband internet that will rival Elon Musk-owned SpaceX's Starlink.


About the agreement:

  • Amazon has signed three private companies to conduct record 83 launches to deploy its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite system.
  • The 3,236 satellites under Project Kuiper will be launched on Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) rockets to Low-Earth Orbit.
  • The three companies will provide these launch services in what is being called the largest commercial procurement of space launch services in history.
  • Under the agreement, ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket will conduct 38 missions, Arianespace’s Ariane-6 will launch 18 missions, and 12 launches will be done on Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket along with an option of 15 additional launches if needed. 
  • The 83 launches will be conducted over the next five years.
  • Amazon said that Project Kuiper satellites will launch on Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rocket out of the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, and
  • on Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rockets out of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
  • Apart from getting launchers, Amazon has also signed an agreement with Switzerland-headquartered Beyond Gravity to build the low-cost versatile dispensers that will deploy the Project Kuiper constellation.

Project Kuiper

  • Amazon Inc has announced Project Kuiper in 2019 to provide high speed internet by building network of over 3,236 satellites. 
  • Project Kuiper is an initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
  • Under it, Amazon is planning to put constellation of 3,236 satellites in LEO— including 784 satellites at an altitude of 590 kilometers, 1,296 satellites at 610 kilometers and 1,156 satellites in 630-kilometer orbits. 
  • The constellation of these satellites will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to people globally who lack basic access to broadband internet. 
  • It will provide data coverage for wide swath spots on Earth ranging in latitude from 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south where about 95% of world’s population lives.
  • Project Kuiper will leverage Amazon’s global logistics and operations footprint to provide excellent customer service, and Amazon Web Services will provide networking and infrastructure to serve a diverse, global customer base.
  • Meanwhile, the satellites will also "serve individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses, disaster relief efforts, government agencies, and other organizations operating in places without reliable broadband.

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