Amazon to launch first two internet satellites in 2022

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Photo by Scott Evans on Unsplash

Amazon has announced the launch of the first two prototype satellites from Project Kuiper, the internet-from-space venture from the e-commerce giant in the fourth quarter of 2022

The first two prototype satellites, KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2, will launch separately on rockets from ABL Space Systems to provide competition from the Elon Musk-owned space companies SpaceX and OneWeb, providing high-speed Internet connectivity

The first two prototype satellites from e-commerce giant Project Kuiper are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, Jeff Bezos’s Amazon said Monday. This officially kicks off competition from the Elon Musk-owned space companies SpaceX and OneWeb, providing high-speed Internet connectivity to low-orbit customers. It will also be an important test of the satellite design before the company launches thousands of additional devices into orbit.

The first two prototype satellites, KuiperSat1 and KuiperSat2, will launch separately on rockets from ABL Space Systems, one of a handful of startups building smaller launch vehicles to sate demand from satellite companies. The market for smaller rockets, designed to deliver payloads to space quickly and affordably, is packed with competitors, making ABL`s Amazon contract — good for up to five launches on ABL`s RS1 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida — a boost for the company.

According to the New York Times on Amazon News on November 1:

The first two satellites for Project Kuiper will launch next fall. This is a big step toward our mission of providing fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. https://t.co/LIo7Aj2DSw pic.twitter.com/qmRR7LFyIe

Amazon first announced its goal of deploying a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit in 2019 and plans to spend $10 billion on the project

Amazon first announced its goal of placing 3,236 satellites in low-Earth orbit in 2019. This was the second space expedition for Jeff Bezos,  founder and former CEO of Amazon, which owns rocket company Blue Origin. Several other companies are also looking to provide high-speed Internet access to governments, other businesses, and consumers that are difficult to access due to the digital divide in remote locations.

 Amazon plans to spend $10 billion on projects that, like SpaceX, are part of its device division. However, the company started at a slower pace than SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rocket launched nearly 2,000 Internet-beam satellites into orbit for its Starlink venture. Thousands of customers are testing SpaceX’s services for $99 per month with an antenna kit for $499.

Amazon unveiled a customer antenna concept in 2020 and has been testing prototype satellites on the ground for years.

Amazon introduced the customer antenna concept in 2020 and has been testing satellite prototypes on the ground for many years.

With intense competition among companies and projections of tens of billions of dollars in revenue after the group is fully operational, investors’ and analysts’ plans have aroused interest from investors and analysts. But the same plan has also been criticized by space security advocates, fearing satellite collisions that increase pollution of orbits. astronomers whose ground-based telescopic observations of the night sky may be obstructed by satellites; Dark sky lovers afraid of light pollution from sunlight reflecting off constellations.

Rajeev Badyal, a vice president at Amazon overseeing the Kuiper project said that you could test all the stuff you wanted in your infrastructure labs they had invested a lot of money to build, but acknowledged that the ultimate test is in space.

The Satellite Communication Regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC), approved Amazon’s network in 2020 and a deadline launch of half of its 3,236 satellites by mid-2026.

The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates satellite communications to the ground, approved Amazon`s network in 2020 and gave the company a deadline to launch half of its 3,236 satellites by mid2026. Amazon bought nine launches from the rocket company United Launch Alliance in a deal likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

 But Amazon has been talking to other launch companies, Badyal said, including its competitor, SpaceX, whose rapid Starlink deployment is partially attributable to its ability to use its own reusable rocket boosters for launches.

The pair of Amazon prototype satellites will test internet connections between space and the company’s flat, square antennas for the first time in Amazon’s Kuiper program.

A pair of prototype Amazon satellites are testing Internet connectivity between space and the company’s flat rectangular antenna for the first time in Amazon’s Kuiper program for consumers on Earth. Test areas include  South America, Asia Pacific, and Central Texas. Previous experiments have involved launching a drone equipped with satellite equipment through an antenna on the ground, and connecting the antenna on the ground to another company’s satellite already in space, giving Internet speeds sufficient for high-definition video streaming.

 As with other device divisions at Amazon, employees working at Kuiper face pressure to cut costs while developing the final version of the company’s consumer antenna. Badyal said the company is considering a variety of pricing options, from charging customers for every wire that comes with the antenna to the “edge” where the antenna is free to customers.

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