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Amazon will launch thousands of satellites to provide internet around the world
Amazon has yet to announce whether it intends to build its own satellites or buy them from a third party. It also has yet to make a decision about how it will launch them into orbit. Although Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has his own spaceflight company called Blue Origin, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to GeekWire that “[Amazon] will of course look at all options.”
The project will also require a network of Earth stations for the satellites to communicate with. Last year, Amazon launched AWS Ground Station, a cloud computing service that will enable space-to-ground communications.
There’s no time frame for when Amazon’s satellites might be sent into orbit, but it will need to receive the Federal Communications Commission’s approval before it can do so. The FCC will consider issues such as orbital congestion as well as Amazon’s plans for decommissioning its satellites at the end of its operation. Orbital debris has become an increasingly large concern; last year, NASA recommended that 99 out of every 100 satellites from these mega constellations will need to be deorbited once their missions are over to prevent the space around the Earth from filling up with dangerous junk.
Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.
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