Amazon’s first pair of prototype satellites for its planned Kuiper internet network was launched into space on October 6 from Florida, US. It is the company’s first step towards its mission of deploying thousands more satellites into orbit to beam internet service globally.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket carrying the satellites lifted off from Cape Canaveral shortly after 2 p.m. Eastern time (1800 GMT). The mission aims to test Amazon’s first pieces of technology in space. The e-commerce and web services giant plans to deploy 3,236 more satellites in the next few years and offer broadband internet globally.
The two satellites were built at the US company’s satellite plant in Redmond, Washington. It later said that the satellites were deployed, and its mission operations center had made contact with them.
Amazon has pledged to invest $10 billion into its Kuiper project, which was announced in 2019. The US Federal Communications Commission has asked the company to deploy half its planned satellite constellation by 2026.
To deploy the rest of the Kuiper network, Amazon last year announced a bulk launch deal for 83 rockets. The largest commercial rocket procurement ever, the company will get the rockets from various companies, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, ULA and Europe’s Arianespace.