Amazon to spend billions of dollars on its Kuiper Project

Kuiper Project is the broadband satellite unit Amazonwhich intends to compete with the Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellite internet service. The firm has already bought 83 pitches and billions of dollars are expected to be spent on space launches, according to Micah Maidenberg in The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon’s Kuiper Project said it secured up to 83 launches planned that they would transport satellites into orbit for a period of five years. The Seattle-based unit of the e-commerce giant has yet to send any satellites, though it has said it will launch two prototypes this year.

Project Kuiper and SpaceXwhose formal name is Space Exploration Technologies Corporation., are among the companies and government agencies that compete to send broadband satellites into low earth orbitin some cases and markets betting that they can compete with traditional broadband providers.

Amazon’s new planned releases depend on larger rockets still in development they must show that they can fly as expected. Launch companies contracted to put Project Kuiper satellites into orbit, including Blue Origin LLChave faced delays in the development of those rockets.

Executives at those launch companies declined to say when they might start putting the Amazon unit’s satellites into orbit under the new deals.

Musk’s space company jumped to the fore by building a fleet of satellites in orbit. The SpaceX Starlink internet service have 250,000 subscribersan executive said at a recent industry event, and has released more than 1,900 satellites in what it calls its first-generation satellite system, according to a January regulatory filing.

SpaceX said in the presentation that it has been making improvements to its Starlink satellites and to Starship, the large rocket that SpaceX wants to use for Starlink deployments and other missions.

With government approval

In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the Kuiper Project to implement 3,236 broadband satellitesaccording to an FCC filing. The agency required that at least half be operational for july 2026or else Project Kuiper could lose the right to send some satellites. The new launches the Amazon business bought would provide capacity to deploy most FCC-permitted satellites, according to the company.

Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Devices and Services at Amazonhe declined to specify how much the company would spend on the planned launches, but said the total outlay was in the billions. “Project Kuiper bought the pitches because of the 2026 deadline, and also because the unit has passed milestones to build the business.”

Project Kuiper hired blue originthe space company founded by Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon who serves as chief executive on the e-commerce company’s board, to make a dozen pitches, along with options for another 15.

united launch alliancea company owned by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.., has the task of 38 pitcheswhich are in addition to the nine launches Amazon announced last year on a separate ULA rocket. The French company is expected Arianespace SAS perform 18.

In addition to handling Project Kuiper flights on its planned rocket new glennBlue Origin is building engines for vulcan centaurthe rocket that united launch has been developing and that it would use to send satellites for the Amazon drive.

Jarrett Jones, Blue Origin Senior Vice President for the New Glenn RocketHe said the company plans to deliver engines to United Launch soon and is working to have four reusable New Glenn boosters by 2025.

“Among these three vendors, obviously all of them have some risk associated with them and we have closely inspected that,” Limp said. “We feel like everyone is on track.”

Business in development

Project Kuiper has been working on agreements for its planned service. An agreement reached last year with Verizon Communications Inc. included provide satellite links intended to extend certain Verizon networks to reach rural and remote areas in the US. SpaceX’s Starlink signed a similar agreement with a Japanese telecommunications provider.

“Starlink has a head start on Project Kuiper,” according to the satellite industry analyst Chris Quilty of Quilty AnalyticsBut he said Amazon’s business has the advantage of looking at the market leader’s challenges.

Limp noted that there is room for more than one satellite broadband winner, in part due to the number of unconnected and underserved people around the world.

The CEO of United Launch, Tory Brunosaid his company would launch Vulcan Centaur rockets for a national security client ahead of Project Kuiper flights. “That pressure is already in place.”

Amazon It closed on Monday in the green at $3,366.93 and the last moving average crossover, the 70-period below the 200-period moving average, would give us a bearish signal. Meanwhile, the Ei indicators are practically bullish.

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