Amazon's Project Kuiper secures ULA Atlas V rockets for satellite deployments
The Amazon-led space venture is gearing up to launch thousands of satellites into orbit in order to offer internet service to underserved regions.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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"Project Kuiper will help bridge the digital divide across the United States and around the world, and we could not be more pleased to be working with Amazon to support the initiative," said ULA president and CEO Tory Bruno.
"Atlas V is a highly reliable launch vehicle, and provides the right level of performance, capacity and dependability we need to begin our large-scale deployment," Amazon said in its blog post announcing the deal, which comes less than a year after Amazon won approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch thousands of satellites into orbit.
"We're determined to make affordable broadband a reality for customers and communities around the world," said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. "ULA is a fantastic partner that's successfully launched dozens of missions for commercial and government customers, and we're grateful for their support of Kuiper."
Locating local internet providers
Project Kuiper -- which is a separate entity from the private, Jeff Bezos-led space venture Blue Origin -- notes that it will ultimately require multiple launch partners in order to meet its goal of launching more than 3,200 satellites into orbit. The company's end goal is the formation of a "constellation" of satellites capable of transmitting an internet connection of up to 400Mbps to homes and businesses equipped with an antenna that can receive the signal.
"We've designed our satellites and dispenser system to accommodate multiple launch vehicles," said Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper's VP of technology. "This gives us the flexibility to use many different rockets and providers to launch our satellite system."