Amazon will launch first Project Kuiper satellites in late 2022

Project Kuiper is Amazon’s play at a satellite internet solution, but it’s going to be a long while before folks are able to use the network.

The first satellites, KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 will only be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“We’ve invented lots of new technology to meet our cost and performance targets for Project Kuiper. All of the systems are testing well in simulated and lab settings, and we’ll soon be ready to see how they perform in space,” explains vice president of technology at Project Kuiper, Rajeev Badyal.

“There is no substitute for on-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment. We can’t wait to get started”.

These two satellites aren’t going to remain in orbit for long and will de-orbit once Amazon has completed the mission.

The mission will also test some new technology including a sun shade that will hopefully reduce reflectivity and mitigate the impact low-Earth-orbit satellites have on observatories on the ground.

Amazon has also announced that ABL Space Systems will launch the satellites aboard RS1 rockets.

“With a one-ton-plus payload capacity, RS1 delivers the right capacity and cost-efficiency to support our mission profile. ABL’s RS1 and GS0 launch system are also fully containerized and mobile, providing the speed and flexibility to support these early launches. We have been working closely with the ABL team for several months and already completed two integration design reviews—including plans for a novel adapter design. We will conduct an initial fit check early next year,” Amazon said in a statement.

While satellite internet is billed by many as a way to bring connectivity to those in remote areas, services such as Starlink aren’t readily available in those areas and if they are available, the cost is far too expensive for those folks.

Hopefully with Starlink and Project Kuiper competing for users this will lead to lower costs but we won’t know if that’s the case until both services are available to more people.


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