Amazon purchases nine Atlas V rockets to debut constellation of communications satellites

The e-commerce and cloud giant has just bought nine Atlas V rockets to launch the first satellites of its communication constellation, Kuiper. Bought from United Launch Alliance, the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, these nine launchers carry an unknown number of satellites.

This number is however important since Amazon must have placed in orbit a little more than half of the 3236 satellites by 2026, according to its contract with the FCC. They will be placed in low earth orbit (OTB) between 590 and 630 km above our heads. And promise a connection of up to 400 mbit / s to customers equipped with future communication antennas.

Amazon is currently far behind Space X and OneWeb, which have already launched 1355 and 146 satellites respectively. But with $ 10 billion already invested last year and more than 500 people working on Kuiper, Amazon is serious about its investment. If the company does not yet manage to launch its satellites with rockets from Blue Origin (owned by J. Bezos), this should be the case within a few years.

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With many competitors in the segment of internet access satellites (Space X, OneWeb, Amazon, TeleSat, etc.), many concerns around the use of low orbit, space waste or observation from the sky may arise. But for the moment, no international legislation governs these uses of space.

Source : The Verge


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