Tech giant Amazon has added 9 Atlas V rocket launch vehicles from United Launch Alliance (ULA), a Boeing-Lockheed JV. This is Amazon’s first purchase of rocket launch vehicles. The launch vehicles will facilitate Amazon to send the first batch of its Kuiper internet satellites in space; the whole plan is to build and deploy a constellation of satellites in the lower Earth orbit for bringing the internet to “far corners of the world”, an initiative dubbed Project Kuiper by the tech giant.
Understandably, deploying something the size of a constellation would require more launch vehicles as the planned number of satellites is a whopping 3,236. Stationing that many in the lower orbit of the earth are going to take some years still as Amazon is not even ready with the required broadband technology yet and this is its first purchase of launch vehicles.
The company claims its plan is to provide “fast, affordable broadband in places where access is unreliable or expensive, or where it doesn’t exist at all.” Amazon claimed that it has now 500 people working on Project Kuiper and that its team is investing much of its energy and resources into inventing new technology to make broadband internet more accessible and affordable for the users. “This tenet led to the design for our compact, low-cost customer terminal antenna, and we are applying a similar focus to reduce costs across the Kuiper System.”, said Amazon in a blog post.
As per Amazon, the Atlas V rocket, over its more than 85 launches, has a 100% success rate. It has been used by NASA for multiple space missions, including the Perseverance Rover that is currently on Mars.