Amazon is enlisting the assistance of certainly one of its greatest rivals to shuttle its Undertaking Kuiper web satellites into house. The corporate will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for 3 launches starting in 2025, Amazon introduced on Friday.
Undertaking Kuiper is Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite tv for pc program that would ultimately present customers throughout the globe with web connectivity. Amazon launched its first two Undertaking Kuiper take a look at satellites into house in October, the place it managed to connect with the web and conduct a two-way video name. Nevertheless, it nonetheless has to do some severe catching as much as SpaceX’s Starlink, which has already deployed round 5,000 satellites.
Regardless of the rivalry between the 2 corporations, it doesn’t precisely come as a shock that Amazon has chosen SpaceX as a future launch supplier. Satellite tv for pc corporations and authorities businesses have change into more and more reliant on SpaceX’s reusable rockets for constant — and cheaper — launches, as identified by an earlier report from The Wall Road Journal. The Elon Musk-owned firm powered 88 p.c of flights within the first six months of 2023 alone.
Most of Amazon’s satellites will nonetheless be ferried by Arianespace, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA), although. Amazon secured as much as 83 launches with the three corporations final 12 months, which it says “offers sufficient capability to launch the bulk” of its deliberate 3,236 satellite tv for pc constellation. It is going to deploy extra Undertaking Kuiper satellites within the first half of 2024, with beta testing beginning towards the tip of subsequent 12 months.