Amazon is swallowing its pride to ensure its internet satellites get to orbit on time

Amazon is swallowing its pride to ensure its internet satellites get to orbit on time

Cheyenne MacDonald

Amazon announced on Friday that it’s signed a contract with SpaceX to deliver batches of its Project Kuiper satellites to low Earth orbit in 2025. SpaceX is undoubtedly Amazon’s biggest competitor as it breaks into the satellite internet space, and already has a constellation of over 4,000 Starlink satellites in operation. It’s also a rival of Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos that has its own rockets in development. But when it comes to launches, SpaceX’s pace and the reliability of its Falcon 9 rocket is unmatched.

The contract with SpaceX is for three Falcon 9 launches, Amazon said in a blog post. They’re expected to lift off in mid-2025. Amazon is planning to start customer pilots of its Project Kuiper satellite internet service by the end of next year, and will soon start deploying the fleet that will support it. It launched its first two prototype satellites in October. The company already has deals for upcoming launches on United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Vulcan rocket, Arianespace’s Ariane 6 and Blue Origin’s New Glenn — all of which have been hit by development delays and may or may not make their first flights between this year and next.

Amazon said in its announcement that “the additional launches with SpaceX offer even more capacity to support our deployment schedule.” The company has said its Project Kuiper constellation will consist of 3,236 satellites, at least half of which must be in operation by summer 2026 to comply with its FCC license.

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