Story at a glance

  • Amazon on Monday filed a request with FCC to launch, deploy and operate the KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 prototype satellites.
  • The pair of satellites will test Amazon’s communications and networking infrastructure that will be used in its final satellite design.
  • Project Kuiper is Amazon’s answer to SpaceX’s Starlink network.

Technology giant Amazon wants to launch two prototype satellites into low Earth orbit in the fourth quarter of 2022 to move its satellite-internet project forward. 

The initiative, known as Project Kuiper, is aiming to bring low-latency, high-speed broadband internet to underserved communities in the world through a constellation of more than 3,000 satellites over the next decade. 

Plans for the project were approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in July 2020 and Amazon is expected to invest $10 billion into the endeavor. 

Amazon on Monday filed a request with FCC to launch, deploy and operate the KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 prototype satellites. The pair of satellites will test Amazon’s communications and networking infrastructure that will be used in its final satellite design. 


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The satellites will be launched on an experimental new rocket currently being developed by startup ABL Space Systems. 

“We’ve invented lots of new technology to meet our cost and performance targets for Project Kuiper. All of the systems are testing well in simulated and lab settings, and we’ll soon be ready to see how they perform in space,” Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, said in a release

“There is no substitute for on-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment. We can’t wait to get started,” Badyal said. 

Project Kuiper is Amazon’s answer to SpaceX’s Starlink network, which aims to provide high-speed internet access anywhere on the planet through its very own constellation of orbiting satellites.

The private rocket company has already put nearly 2,000 internet satellites into orbit and thousands of customers are already testing the internet service. SpaceX plans on sending nearly 12,000 satellites into orbit to complete the constellation.


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Published on Nov 01, 2021