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Amazon takes on Starlink with Project Kuiper's inaugural satellite launch

Amazon is launching its initial two prototype satellites, KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2, as part of its "Protoflight" mission under Project Kuiper, the company's low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband initiative aimed at competing with Elon Musk's Starlink.

Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: October 05, 2023 22:35 IST
Amazon, Starlink, Project Kuiper, satellite
Image Source : AMAZON Amazon takes on Starlink with Project Kuiper's inaugural satellite launch

Amazon is set to launch its initial two prototype satellites, KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2, on its "Protoflight" mission as part of Project Kuiper, the company's low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband venture aimed at competing with Elon Musk's Starlink.

These prototype satellites represent the first versions of more than 3,200 satellites that Project Kuiper plans to manufacture and deploy over the next six years. The primary goal of these two prototypes is to allow the Project Kuiper team to enhance the technology and operations needed to provide fast and affordable broadband from space, according to Amazon.

To rival Elon Musk's Starlink, which already has over 4,000 satellites in orbit for delivering affordable Internet, Amazon envisions deploying a constellation of more than 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit.

India Tv - Amazon India, Tech news, Elon Musk, Starlink,

Image Source : FILEAmazon takes on Starlink with Project Kuiper's inaugural satellite launch

The company is on track to launch its first production satellites in the first half of 2024, with plans for beta testing involving early commercial customers by the end of 2024.

While Amazon's satellite design has undergone extensive testing in the lab, putting satellites into space provides invaluable on-orbit testing, said Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper's vice president of technology. Amazon is venturing into space with satellites for the first time, and it anticipates significant learning opportunities from this mission, regardless of its outcome.

The Kuiper System consists of three essential components: advanced LEO broadband satellites, small and affordable customer terminals, and a secure, resilient ground-based communications network. The Protoflight mission will evaluate all three components, as well as the teams and systems responsible for managing them.

Amazon's satellites will be launched into space aboard an Atlas V rocket by United Launch Alliance (ULA), which will deploy them at an altitude of 500 km.

On the ground, Amazon will test its advanced networking hardware and software to optimize its support for data flow through the Kuiper System and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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At the conclusion of the mission, Amazon intends to actively de-orbit both satellites, ensuring they safely burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

By pursuing Project Kuiper, Amazon aims to offer global Internet coverage and bridge the digital divide in underserved areas worldwide.

ALSO READ: After Meta layoff, employee achieves aspiration with Google job offer

Inputs from IANS

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