Space Technology

Amazon picks launch partner to deploy Project Kuiper satellites

Rendering of an Atlas V launch.   | Photo Credit: Amazon / ULA

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Amazon said on Monday that it has secured an agreement with space launch firm, United Launch Alliance (ULA), to support the deployment of its Project Kuiper satellites.

As Amazon’s first launch partner, ULA’s nine Atlas V launch vehicles will help deploy some of Amazon’s broadband satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO). The company plans to use “multiple launch vehicles and launch partners” to support the deployment of all the 3,236 broadband satellites approved by the US Federal Communication Commission.

“ULA is a fantastic partner that’s successfully launched dozens of missions for commercial and government customers, and we’re grateful for their support of Kuiper,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, said in a statement.

ULA’s Atlas V holds a 100% success rate in more than 85 launches that include NASA missions like the launch of the Perseverance Rover to Mars and OSIRIS-REx, which travelled to the asteroid Bennu and is bringing a small sample back to Earth for study.

Also Read | Canada's Telesat takes on Musk and Bezos in space race to provide fast broadband

Amazon noted that over 500 people are working on the Project Kuiper programme and the team is working on creating new technology to make broadband more affordable and accessible. Last December, the company had revealed its small, low-cost customer terminal for Project Kuiper, capable of delivering speeds up to 400 Mbps.

Meanwhile, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to bring Starlink service to most parts of the globe by the end of 2021, and everywhere by next year. The aerospace company also wants to connect Starlink service to moving vehicles such as ships, planes and trucks.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:32:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/amazon-picks-launch-partner-to-deploy-project-kuiper-satellites/article34365774.ece

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