Amazon Claims Prototype Satellites for Kuiper Community Working Efficiently


Amazon.com mentioned on Thursday its two prototype satellites for its deliberate Kuiper web community have been working efficiently in orbit, with the challenge on observe to begin launching operational satellites by mid-2024. The Kuiper web community is about to compete towards billionaire Elon Musk‘s Starlink, the world’s largest satellite tv for pc operator, to supply broadband web service globally to customers, corporations and governments. Amazon mentioned it had achieved a one hundred pc success fee throughout the first 30 days of the launch of the prototype satellites from Florida aboard an United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

Amazon mentioned it used the prototype satellites for transient two-way video calls, streaming a high-definition film on Prime Video and ordering objects off Amazon’s web site. “We nonetheless have numerous exhausting work forward, and scaling for mass manufacturing will not be straightforward,” mentioned Rajeev Badyal, vice chairman of expertise for Venture Kuiper. The US Federal Communications Fee has required Amazon to deploy half of its greater than 3,000-planned satellite tv for pc constellation by 2026.

On the heels of the profitable prototype assessments, Amazon expects to begin constructing production-ready satellites subsequent month for a launch within the second quarter of 2024, Badyal informed Reuters. Badyal declined to say what number of satellites Amazon would launch per rocket.

Badyal mentioned he expects the community shall be able to offering broadband protection in some components of the world by late 2024, for an early beta part focused to start in early 2025.

Early companions like Vodafone and Verizon are set to grow to be the primary telecom corporations to beta check the service.

Amazon final yr introduced a bulk launch deal for 83 launches — the most important industrial rocket procurement ever — from numerous rocket corporations, together with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, ULA and Europe’s Arianespace.

The Boeing-Lockheed three way partnership United Launch Alliance is about to loft the primary a number of batches of Kuiper satellites aboard its Atlas 5 and the corporate’s upcoming Vulcan rocket.

Rival Starlink makes use of its personal in-house SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets to launch its community, which since 2019 has grown to roughly 5,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit, enabling near-global broadband protection.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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