Where else should Amazon take its business but to space?
Planning to launch over 3,000 satellites, Amazon has announced that it has closed deals with three rocket companies that will be in charge of launching these satellites to support the company’s satellite internet service offering.
A total of 83 launches have been agreed upon and Amazon is calling the initiative to be one of the largest commercial rocket launches to ever be initiated.
The project will last about five years. The rocket building has been assigned to various companies which of course includes Bezos’ own Blue Origin rocket company.
Also tapped are veteran rocket builders United Launch Alliance, who has been designated a rather large share of the deal with 38 launches. ULA will be using its Vulcan Centaur rocket and is expected to fly by early 2022.
Arianespace, on the other hand, will be using its in-development Ariane 6 for 18 missions. Amazon’s Blue Origin is left with 12 launches for its New Glenn Rocket.
Amazon’s senior vice president for devices and services says that the initial goal of the company is to launch a few satellites within the next year or so. Called Project Kuiper, it’s expected to be composed of more than 1,600 satellites by 2026 and it will be able to provide global internet coverage.
But even with only a couple of hundred units out there in space, Amazon should be able to start testing out its satellite internet service and be able to offer it commercially. There’s no word on pricing yet for the service.