Amazon Plans to Launch 3,000+ Satellites
Recently, Amazon publicly filed a request with the FCC for a big “space project.” This project, called Project Kuiper, includes launching a total of 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit. The overall goal is to launch these thousands of satellites into space to deliver global broadband to underserved communities.
The coverage will span 95% of Earth’s land where populations of people live.
Supporting this project is the AWS Ground Station. The station launched in November 2018. Its purpose is to leverage the cloud-computing capabilities of Amazon Web Services to support communications with the low Earth orbiting satellites.
Currently, the project only has a name. So far, there is no project-cost (though forecasted at likely billions of dollars), no satellite engineers and no launch date, among other details. The only certain thing is that Amazon is serious about the plan.
Amazon’s launch plan is designed in three layers:
- 784 satellites in a 590-kilometer orbit
- 1,156 satellites in a 630-kilometer orbit
- 1,296 satellites in a 610-kilometer orbit
However, Amazon is not the only company planning to launch satellites. In the near future, we may see satellite launches from the likes of SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and LeoSat.
What makes Amazon’s constellation different, is that unlike the other companies, it plans for its satellites to circle the earth at a much closer range. The company has also detailed that it would prioritize maintaining a sustainable space environment by eventually deorbiting its satellites.
More Amazon Satellite Connections
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is also the founder of a launch company called Blue Origin. This company is developing a reusable rocket called New Glenn designed to launch government and commercial satellites. The launch is planned for 2021.