Home » Amazon signs rocket deal with Blue Origin, Arianespace, ULA for Project Kuiper internet satellites

Amazon signs rocket deal with Blue Origin, Arianespace, ULA for Project Kuiper internet satellites

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Rendering from left to right by the company’s rocket artists: New Glenn, Vulcan Centaur, Ariane 6.

Blue Origin / United Launch Alliance / Arianespace

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Amazon On Tuesday, it announced that it was the largest rocket trade in the history of the commercial space industry and signed with three companies for the launch of up to 83 of its project Kyper Internet satellites.

The tech giant has signed 38 launch agreements with the United Launch Alliance (ULA). Boeing When Lockheed Martin18 launches with European company Arianespace.12 launches at Blue Origin, up to 15 additional launch options for Amazon founder-owned private ventures Jeff Bezos..

Project Kyper Amazon’s plan to build a network of 3,236 satellites With low earth orbit, it provides high-speed Internet anywhere in the world. The 2020 FCC has approved Amazon’s system. The company states that it will “invest over $ 10 billion” to build this.

Amazon plans to begin testing a pair of Kuiper prototype satellites, scheduled for launch later this year. Launched by RS1 rocket in ABL space, Before moving on to the launch of operational satellites. Amazon hasn’t announced when the Kuiper launch campaign will begin, but FCC rules require that half of the planned satellites be deployed within six years.

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Devices at Amazon, said: Said in a service, statement.

The terms of the deal announced on Tuesday were not disclosed.

ULA will use the Balkan rocket in addition to the 38 Kyper launches. Launch of nine Atlas V rockets for Kuiper purchased by Amazon last year.. According to ULA CEO Tory Bruno, each Balkan rocket will put 45 Kuiper satellites into orbit. ULA’s Balkan rocket has not yet been launched, but its debut mission is set for later this year. ULA has not disclosed the base price for the Balkan launch, but the US government has purchased each rocket launch for about $ 112 million.

Arianespace will fly 18 Kai Permissions on the Ariane 6 rocket, which will debut later this year. According to Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel, Ariane 6 will be able to carry 35-40 Kuiper satellites on each mission. European rocket manufacturers have not specified a price structure for Ariane 6, but previously stated that they were targeting a base price of $ 77 million per launch.

Blue Origin uses the New Glenn rocket to fly 12 Kai permissions to host. According to CEO Bob Smith, New Glenn will provide 61 Kuiper satellites per mission. Blue Origin currently does not have a formal target date for New Glenn’s first launch, CNBC has previously reported that the rocket is expected to debut after 2024... The company hasn’t announced the price of the New Glenn launch, but Arianespace estimates two years ago that the Blue Origin rocket was $ 68 million per launch. Both companies were founded by Bezos, but Blue Origin is separate from Amazon.

In total, Amazon’s Kuiper launch deal is worth billions of dollars, but it’s not clear how competitive bidding and possible bulk order discounts will affect the overall price. All four companies refused to comment on costs.

Challenge SpaceX

Especially absent from Amazon’s launch salary is the most active US rocket company. Of Elon Musk SpaceX. But even if Mask promises to launch a competitor Amazon and SpaceX have long sparred in front of federal regulators via their respective satellite internet networks.Kuiper and Starlink.

SpaceX has established a considerable lead over Amazon in the competition to provide the Internet from space. So far, it has launched about 2,000 Starlink satellites and has served a total of about 250,000 subscribers...

But Amazon is betting on a global footprint to fill that gap. According to the company, the Kuiper network “takes advantage of Amazon’s global logistics and operational footprint, as well as the networking and infrastructure of Amazon Web Services (AWS).”

Kuiper is not only competing with Starlink for consumer and corporate subscribers, but also with the UK-backed OneWeb. OneWeb has completed about two-thirds of the launch of its first-generation satellites. However, at a briefing at the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Amazon’s Limp said he believes there is room for “multiple winners” in satellite Internet racing.

Amazon is now able to address one key obstacle to affordable satellite Internet: the antennas customers need to connect to. Amazon advertised “experience in manufacturing low-cost devices and services like the Echo and Kindle” to reduce the price of hardware customers need for their services. Similarly, Limp said Amazon plans to sell satellite Internet to its customers with a “one-click purchase” like any other device.

Limp said the Kuiper team “had an inspiration” in designing satellite antennas to be transmitted to customers.

“The cost could be well below $ 500,” Limp said.

For comparison, SpaceX said it last year Starlink user devices cost about $ 1,300 each, Reduced from about $ 3,000 of the original design. SpaceX will charge customers $ 599 in advance for Starlink hardware. This means that the company has absorbed about half the cost of acquiring subscribers.

Amazon has not yet provided much information about the Kuiper satellite, such as mass and power.

“Our satellite is potentially larger than other satellites [low Earth orbit] As you may know, we need a new large rocket to be economical, “says Limp.

However, Amazon has announced that it will work with Beyond Gravity in Switzerland to build a satellite dispenser to deploy the Kuiper spacecraft, so the company’s design could be nearly complete, if not yet complete.

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