Rocket launches booked: Amazon is boosting the satellite network

Status: 05.04.2022 17:37

Amazon is accelerating its plans to connect to the Internet through satellites in Earth orbit. The group has booked up to 83 more rocket launches to launch thousands of satellites for the project.

Internet company Amazon has secured space for dozens of rocket launches for its planned satellite network with fast Internet access. A further 83 rocket launches are expected to launch most of Project Kuiper’s 3,236 satellites over a five-year period.

Amazon announced that the European space company Arianespace should carry out 18 launches with rockets of the new Ariane 6 type. According to the information, another 38 launches will be carried out with United Launch Alliance (ULA) launch vehicles from Boeing and Lockheed Martin, in addition to releases already agreed. There is a deal with Blue Origin, which was founded by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, for twelve releases, with an option for up to 15 more.

“Affordable broadband for tens of millions”

Amazon did not provide information on the price of the rocket launches. However, the group spoke of the largest commercial rocket launch order in history. With the project, the group wants to “provide fast and affordable broadband for tens of millions of customers” who live in regions with little or no Internet connection. The satellites will be used at an altitude of about 600 kilometers.

Amazon boss Bezos isn’t alone with plans for an Internet from space. Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Starlink project has already launched more than 2,000 satellites.

Foundation for established business

Amazon manager Dave Limp, whose device division the project belongs to, explained the strategic sense of having its own satellite network. “For pretty much everything Amazon does, connectivity is the foundation,” Limp told the dpa news agency. Without an Internet connection, a business cannot use the services of the AWS Cloud Division, and customers cannot stream videos or shop on Amazon.

When it comes to satellite Internet access, people often think of Africa. Even in rural America, there are large areas without good online access, Limp stressed. It definitely takes more than one vendor to solve everyone’s problem.

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