One of the leading tech and e-commerce giants, Amazon.com, has made it to the front page yet again. But this time for setting up a deal with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to trade in nine satellite launch vehicles from the latter company.
Reports suggest that the move is likely to support the initial implementation of Amazon’s broadband internet initiative, Project Kuiper, for addressing the mounting demand for internet connectivity in rural areas worldwide.
Moreover, the trade initiative, being Amazon’s first launch agreement, looks toward sending its Kuiper satellites to the space. Apparently, the deal is for ULA’s workhorse Atlas 5 rocket.
It would be essential to note that the tech giant is planning on building a constellation of 3,236 satellites in space. in line with offering internet to rural parts of the globe, the satellites would also act as a major infrastructure catalyst to its well acclaimed cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services.
Speculations have been made that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had in 2020, approved the company’s network for launch. Importantly, the Commission requires Amazon to launch at least half of its Kuiper network, nearly about 1,618 satellites, by July 2026.
As per credible reports, Amazon’s Kuiper satellites is built to fit atop various types of rockets. However, Amazon’s Vice President of technology, Rajeev Badyal mentioned that the ULA deal offers the company with a capable, reliable rocket for its first Kuiper launches.
Essentially, Amazon has been reported to invest about USD 10 billion into the development and trade of these satellites.
Kuiper satellites would orbit at an altitude range of 590km to 630km. In fact, in a statement released by the company officials it was mentioned that, Kuiper prototypes have demonstrated speeds of up to 400Mbps and the performance of these would continue to enhance in future iterations.