Amazon Agreements Secure Up To 83 Launches For Project Kuiper
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has announced agreements with Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to provide heavy-lift launch services for Project Kuiper, Amazon’s initiative to increase global broadband access using a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO).
Photo Insert: Project Kuiper aims to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to a wide range of customers, including individual households, schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies, disaster relief operations, mobile operators, and other organizations working in places without reliable internet connectivity.
The contracts, according to a Business Wire report, total up to 83 launches over a five-year period, providing capacity for Amazon to deploy the majority of its 3,236-satellite constellation. It is the largest commercial procurement of launch vehicles in history.
“Project Kuiper will provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in unserved and underserved communities around the world,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President for Amazon Devices & Services.
“We still have lots of work ahead, but the team has continued to hit milestone after milestone across every aspect of our satellite system. These launch agreements reflect our incredible commitment and belief in Project Kuiper, and we’re proud to be working with such an impressive lineup of partners to deliver on our mission.”
Project Kuiper aims to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to a wide range of customers, including individual households, schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies, disaster relief operations, mobile operators, and other organizations working in places without reliable internet connectivity.
Amazon is designing and developing the entire system in-house, combining a constellation of advanced LEO satellites with small, affordable customer terminals and a secure, resilient ground-based communications network. Project Kuiper will leverage Amazon’s global logistics and operations footprint, as well as Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) networking and infrastructure, to serve a diverse, global customer base.
Project Kuiper will also apply Amazon’s experience producing low-cost devices and services like Echo and Kindle to deliver service at an affordable, accessible price for customers.
“Securing launch capacity from multiple providers has been a key part of our strategy from day one,” said Rajeev Badyal, Vice President of Technology for Project Kuiper at Amazon.
“This approach reduces risk associated with launch vehicle stand-downs and supports competitive long-term pricing for Amazon, producing cost savings that we can pass on to our customers. These large, heavy-lift rockets also mean we can deploy more of our constellation with fewer launches, helping simplify our launch and deployment schedule. We’re excited to move one step closer to connecting residential, business, and government customers around the world.”
The scale of these contracts will also boost the wider launch services industry, driving innovation and job creation in the United States and Europe. Suppliers from 49 U.S. states help develop and manufacture the next-generation, heavy-lift launch vehicles from Blue Origin and ULA, while Arianespace relies on ArianeGroup’s network of suppliers from 13 European countries to produce its Ariane 6 rocket.
In addition, Amazon is working with Beyond Gravity (formerly RUAG Space), a Switzerland-headquartered space technology provider, to build low-cost, scalable satellite dispensers that will help deploy the Project Kuiper constellation. Beyond Gravity is opening an all-new production facility as a result of the partnership, doubling its production capacity and creating dozens of jobs in Linköping, Sweden.