Head-to-head with SpaceX, Amazon plans to launch first internet satellite in late 2022

Amazon (3318.11, -54.32, -1.61%) announced Monday that it aims to launch its first “Project Kuiper” internet satellite in the fourth quarter of 2022.

 

Head-to-head with SpaceX, Amazon plans to launch first internet satellite in late 2022

Amazon submitted a request to the FCC to launch and operate two prototype satellites (KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2). The two satellites will be launched on ABL Space’s RS1 rocket, Amazon said.

“Project Kuiper” plans to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide high-speed internet around the world. The project was approved by the Federal Communications Commission last year, and Amazon said it planned to “invest more than $10 billion” in the project. Early service for “Project Kuiper” will begin once Amazon has 578 satellites in orbit.

Amazon last week announced a partnership with U.S. telecommunications operator Verizon, which will use its “Project Kuiper” satellite network to provide broadband Internet service to rural and remote areas.

‘Project Kuiper’ is poised to go head-to-head with Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink network. Other companies have network plans at various stages of development, including UK government-backed OneWeb, BlackRock (936.23, -7.23, -0.77%)-backed Astranis, Lockheed Martin (330.93, -1.39, -0.42%) The company’s partnership with startup Omnispace, and Canadian satellite operator Telesat’s Lightspeed project.

The “Project Kuiper” team has grown steadily at Amazon, currently numbering more than 750 people, with “hundreds of people” expected to be hired next year. Amazon has built a 219,000-square-foot facility in Redmond, Washington, to test and manufacture satellites, and plans to add another 20,000-square-foot facility.

Amazon shares did not get a boost after the news. Shares of the company were down nearly 2% by press time.

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