An announcement just came from Amazon regarded as the biggest deal in commercial launch ever made. The company confirmed they are finalizing agreements for 83 launches with three different rocket companies, but no SpaceX was found on the list.
Amazon Plans to Launch Constellation of Broadband Satellites Within Low-Earth-Orbit
According to the story by ArsTechnica, the rockets are expected to deploy a number of Amazon’s constellation of broadband satellites within low-Earth-orbit. To add, Amazon has been buying out an extreme amount of both medium and heavy-lift launch capacity over the course of the next five years.
The company has been buying launches from numerous Western providers except for SpaceX, the company’s direct satellite competitor. Excluding Amazon’s competitor, SpaceX, the widespread purchase includes the majority of any available “spare” launch capacity for larger rockets over the course of the next five years in either Europe or the United States.
Amazon Partners with Blue Origin, Arianespace, and United Launch Alliance to Build 3,236 Satellites
The launch agreements included Arianespace, Blue Origin, and the United Launch Alliance, with a goal of building 3,236 satellites. Amazon recently purchased 18 Ariane 6 rockets from Arianespace in Europe, 12 launches of the New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin (with a potential 15 additional launches), and 38 launches from United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket.
In addition, Amazon announced in the past that it was able to buy the final nine Atlas V rocket launches from United Launch Alliance before the vehicle was retired. The Atlas V rockets were powered by Russian engines.
SpaceX Plans to Launch Two Prototypes in Q4 of 2022
Similar to SpaceX, Project Kuiper from Amazon is also looking to bring fast potentially and affordable broadband Internet access to people worldwide. The company also plans to launch two different prototype satellites during Q4 or 2022.
The company, however, hasn’t set a date for the start of its final deployment, but a spokesperson noted that additional details would be shared later this year. According to the story by The Verge, Amazon’s concept is close to that of SpaceX when it comes to having multiple satellites in low-Earth orbit.
SpaceX Starlink has a Head Start with Over 2,000 Satellites in Orbit
With identical goals, The Verge notes that Starlink currently has an advantage compared to Amazon as it has already been able to launch over 2,000 satellites into orbit. Starlink has also started providing limited services around the world, having 250,000 subscribers so far, according to SpaceX.
As of press time, Amazon has yet to launch any satellites within its Project Kuiper. The company has also not yet disclosed how many rockets can fit into each vehicle, but first, it still has to launch its prototypes with ABL.
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Written by Urian B.
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