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Amazon To Launch First Internet Satellites Into Orbit In 2022
By Ell Ko, 02 Nov 2021
Image via Amazon
Project Kuiper, the low-Earth orbit satellite project run by
Amazon, aims to provide affordable broadband worldwide. Now, the company has just announced that this project is planning to launch two such satellites by the end of 2022.
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Amazon’s plans for its system, made up of 3,236 satellites. Amazon has now filed another request with the FCC to launch and operate the two prototypes, which are called KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2.
These will be riding on the back of ABL Space’s RS1 rocket to carry them into orbit. Both satellites will include technology planned for the final design, such as phased array and parabolic antennas, power and propulsion systems, and custom-designed modems.
“We’ve invented lots of new technology to meet our cost and performance targets for Project Kuiper. All of the systems are testing well in simulated and lab settings, and we’ll soon be ready to see how they perform in space,” states Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, saying that “there is no substitute for on-orbit testing.”
The announcement comes after Amazon stated just last week that it would be partnering with Verizon to provide satellite internet to rural areas in the US.
CNBC reports that this project has been “steadily” growing within Amazon, and its team currently has more than 750 members with many more expected to join next year. Alongside this, the firm has also built a 219,000 square-foot facility in Washington to test and manufacture the satellites, with plans for more to come.
[via CNBC, all images via Amazon]
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