“A total of 3,236 satellites would be launched into low Earth orbit by Amazon to provide internet to millions of people”
Amazon is planning on launching thousands of satellites into space under a new initiative named Project Kuiper. The main directive of this initiative is to provide broadband internet service to people who have no access to such services. The company is among many that plan to launch satellites to provide internet to the world. Companies such as OneWeb, SpaceX, and even Facebook are working on sending satellites to space.
As part of Amazon’s mission, a constellation of 3,236 satellites would be launched into the Earth’s lower orbits. Because these satellites would be in the low Earth orbit, they will be cheaper to operate. The satellites would use low-latency signals to provide high-speed broadband internet to over 95 percent of population on Earth.
An Amazon spokesperson stated, “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.”
According to Amazon, Project Kuiper is a long-term project and will require approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The project will launch satellites in three stages. In the first stage, 784 satellites would be launched to 367 miles above the Earth’s surface. The second stage would place 1,296 satellites at 379 miles and the third would position 1,156 satellites at an elevation of 391 miles. All the satellites would be connected and will provide a range from 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south.
Amazon hasn’t announced if it will use its own satellites or buy them from a supplier. The company will most likely use the Blue Origin rockets to launch the satellites into space, but it will look into other options if they are cheaper. The company would also have to build more AWS Ground Stations to link to satellites to Earth. These stations enable space-to-ground communications for the satellites. We are not sure when Amazon plans on launching the satellites, as there’s plenty of work to be done.