Amazon has a bold plan to become a competitor to SpaceX’s Starlink space Internet. But before starting commercial operation, a lot of preparatory work needs to be done.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper service will also be powered by several thousand small satellites in low Earth orbit, designed to provide fast and affordable broadband Internet access to communities around the world. Moving toward its goal, the company recently announced that it would invest USD 120 million in a satellite data center at the Space Florida Spaceport at the Kennedy Space Center.
The 30,000-square-meter facility will prepare and integrate satellites using a United Launch Alliance (ULA) or Blue Origin rocket at the last stage before launching into space from the nearby Cape Canaveral spaceport.
“We have an ambitious plan to begin Project Kuiper’s full-scale production launches and early customer pilots next year, and this new facility will play a critical role in helping us deliver on that timeline,” said Steve Metayer, vice president of manufacturing operations at Amazon.
Amazon said it planned to launch two prototype satellites in the coming months to test its network and subsystems.
The company will also begin satellite production at a facility in Kirkland, Washington, by the end of 2023. When created, the satellites will be sent to Amazon’s new facility in Florida for final preparations for launch.
The site will have a 30-meter chamber capable of accommodating the payload fairing of new heavy-class rockets, such as Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan Centaur.
In March, Amazon introduced terminals with which Project Kuiper customers would be able to connect to the Internet service. Then Amazon said they wanted to offer their customers smaller, more affordable, and more powerful transmitters than those offered by companies such as SpaceX for Starlink, although details of prices for equipment and services had not yet been disclosed.
Earlier we reported on how OneWeb and Eutelsat were teaming up to confront SpaceX and Amazon.
According to Amazon
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