Amazon has signed a contract with Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX to launch satellites for its Kuiper project. The online store and technology company wants to create a network of thousands of satellites to provide internet services on Earth, but will now rely partly on its main competitor. SpaceX has already launched about five thousand satellites into space for its Starlink to provide internet as well.
Amazon launched the first two Project Kuiper satellites earlier this year, but that was supposed to happen much earlier. The company’s satellite program has been significantly delayed by a series of test failures and other technical problems at launch partners, including Blue Origin from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Three thousand satellites
An older Atlas V rocket from Boeing and Lockheed Martin was eventually used for the first launch. But not all of the more than three thousand planned Kuiper satellites can be launched into space in this way. Earlier this year, a major shareholder also complained that Amazon should have considered using reliable SpaceX rockets for its launches.
Amazon will now do the latter. The contract covers three launches of so-called Falcon 9 rockets, the first of which is expected to take place in mid-2025. It is not known how much money will be included in the deal between Amazon and SpaceX.
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