More than four years after the tech giant announced its ambitious plan to invest heavily in building a global satellite internet network, Amazon launched the first pairs of satellites for its Project Kuiper system on Friday.
“Project Kuiper” is the name of the project to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide global high-speed internet. Amazon plans to invest more than $10 billion in developing Kuiper, CNBC reported.
In 2022, Amazon announced the largest corporate rocket deal in industry history to launch Kuiper satellites. They signed launch contracts with ULA, Arianespace, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as part of the deal. Amazon expects to pay approximately $7.4 billion for Kuiper launches over the next five years.
Amazon has ordered 77 launches, in deals that include options for more launches if needed, from the three companies to be able to deploy the satellites quickly enough to meet regulatory requirements.
The purchase has come under scrutiny in a lawsuit filed by an Amazon shareholder, who claims the company left SpaceX out of valuable satellite launch contracts due to a personal rivalry between Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, CNBC also wrote.
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