Overhead of the New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin, one of the three heavy-lift launch providers Amazon selected for Project Kuiper (featuring a mock-up of the Amazon logo).
By Kate Duffy
- Amazon said it has secured 83 rocket launches for its satellite internet service, Project Kuiper.
- It has agreements with rocket firms Blue Origin, ULA, and Arianespace to fly the satellites to space.
- “Amazon is investing billions of dollars across the three agreements,” a Project Kuiper spokesperson said.
Amazon announced on Tuesday that it has secured a deal for up to 83 rocket launches over a five-year period to send its Project Kuiper internet satellites into space.
In a press release, Amazon said it has signed agreements with space services firms Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance, and Arianespace to use their launch vehicles to carry satellites into orbit for its Project Kuiper, a broadband service that will offer internet connectivity from space and aims to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink service.
Amazon said the deal will secure enough launches for Project Kuiper to deploy the majority of its planned 3,236-satellite network.
As part of the agreements, Amazon said it secured 18 rocket launches with European launch provider, Arianespace; 12 launches using Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket, with the possibility of up to 15 extra launches; and 38 launches with Colorado-based ULA’s Vulcan Centaur technology.
Amazon said the deal was the biggest commercial procurement of launch vehicles in the history of the space industry. In response to Insider’s question about the financial value of the deal, a spokesperson for Project Kuiper said: “Amazon is investing billions of dollars across the three agreements.”
An Amazon executive told the Financial Times that the company would invest “no less than $10 billion” in the total constellation.
“This approach reduces risk associated with launch vehicle stand-downs and supports competitive long-term pricing for Amazon, producing cost savings that we can pass on to our customers,” Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper at Amazon, said in the statement.
Project Kuiper aims to provide fast internet from orbiting satellites to tens of millions of people in underserved areas across the world, Dave Limp, senior vice president for Amazon Devices & Services, said in the statement.
The network plans to rival SpaceX’s Starlink, which also aims to connect rural communities to broadband internet using a network of satellites.
Starlink has already launched more than 2,000 satellites and plans to have a constellation of 42,000 satellites in total by mid-2027. In comparison, Project Kuiper is yet to launch its first.