Amazon opted for the Atlas V rocket over the New Glenn rocket for Project Kuiper internet satellites.Amazon announced that the first Project Kuiper satellites will be launched into low Earth orbit by an Atlas V rocket.
This announcement is being returned to provide concrete evidence that the company’s ambitious space-to-space internet project is making progress. On the other hand, Amazon is noteworthy that the New Glenn rocket, which was being developed by Blue Origin, was not used for the first Amazon internet satellites.
Amazon doesn’t say when the first launch will occur. On the other hand, it is stated that a contract has been signed with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for 9 launches to start building 3,236 satellite constellations in low Earth orbit. There is also no explanation as to how many satellites each Atlas V rocket can launch.
Amazon says ULA chose the Atlas V rocket because of its high reliability. Atlas V missions will be launched from the Space Launch Complex 41 located at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“We are committed to making affordable broadband a reality for customers and communities around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. ULA is a great partner who has successfully launched dozens of tasks for commercial and government clients, and we are grateful to Kuiper for their support. ” says.
The Atlas V rocket was launched 85 times compared to the 113 missions that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket flew. While SpaceX’s vehicle is less costly, it seems unlikely that Amazon will support a competitor in the race to build a satellite internet constellation, as SpaceX did with its Starlink system.
Information from Amazon and the United Launch Alliance is keeping silent about choosing Atlas V over New Glenn or Vulcan. The company underlines that they will need more than one launch vehicle and launch partner to support their deployment plans.
It is quite possible that the Blue Origin production New Glenn will not be completed in time, at least for the initial deployment of the constellation. Blue Origin recently announced that New Glenn will not make its first launch until the fourth quarter of 2022, and that date is expected to shift at least to early 2023.
Amazon says it has invested $ 10 billion in the Kuiper Project and more than 500 people are currently working on the project. The company says it is focusing on developing its satellites as well as designing a compact and low-cost customer terminal antenna that is used to send and receive Internet signals from space.