ULA to launch Amazon’s Project Kuiper internet satellites from Florida

Kuiper Project will compete against SpaceX’s Starlink internet

A rendering of ULA's Altas V launching Project Kuiper satellites. (Image credit: Amazon)
A rendering of ULA's Altas V launching Project Kuiper satellites. (Image credit: Amazon) (WKMG 2021)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The first rounds of satellites from Amazon’s global internet constellation known as Kuiper Project will launch with United Launch Alliance from Florida, the companies announced Monday.

ULA has been selected to launch nine rounds of the Kuiper satellites on Altas V rockets from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 41.

“Project Kuiper is an ambitious project with the potential to connect tens of millions of people around the planet,” ULA CEO Tory Bruno said in a statement. “The scope and scale of the initiative will also provide an enormous boost to U.S. leadership in space, helping create jobs and providing steady, reliable demand for the launch services industry. We’re honored to have Amazon turn to ULA and Atlas V to support its deployment plans.”

Project Kuiper will eventually be comprised of 3,236 satellites in low-Earth orbit providing global internet. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said the satellites will provide affordable broadband around the world.

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Amazon and ULA officials did not say how many satellites would lift off during each of the nine contracted launches. However, Amazon said the Atlas V rocket has the right level of capacity for large-scale deployment.

“We’ve designed our satellites and dispenser system to accommodate multiple launch vehicles – this gives us the flexibility to use many different rockets and providers to launch our satellite system,” VP of technology for Project Kuiper Rajeev Badyal said in a statement. “Atlas V is a capable, reliable rocket, and we’re proud to be working with ULA to support these important first launches.”

Amazon is still evaluating other launch service providers for the remainder of the satellites.

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