SpaceX plans to launch a few Amazon satellites into orbit
One of its main competitors is helping Amazon launch its Project Kuiper internet satellites into orbit. Starting in 2025, the company will launch three times aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, according to a Friday announcement from Amazon.
Amazon’s low-Earth orbit satellite initiative, known as Project Kuiper, has the potential to offer internet connectivity to people worldwide in the future. In October, Amazon launched its first two Project Kuiper test satellites into orbit, successfully establishing a two-way video call and an internet connection. It still needs to catch up to SpaceX’s Starlink, though, as the company has already launched about 5,000 satellites.
Given the competition between the two businesses, it is hardly shocking that Amazon has selected SpaceX to supply future launches. According to a previous Wall Street Journal report, satellite companies and government agencies are depending more and more on SpaceX’s reusable rockets for reliable — and less expensive — launches. In just the first half of 2023, 88 percent of flights were powered by the Elon Musk-owned business.
Nonetheless, Arianespace, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will continue to transport the majority of Amazon’s satellites. With the three companies, Amazon was able to secure up to 83 launches last year, which it claims “provides enough capacity to launch the majority” of its planned constellation of 3,236 satellites. More Project Kuiper satellites will be launched in the first half of 2024; beta testing will begin by the end of the following year.