Amazon Enters Satellite Internet Game, Secures 83 Rocket Launches Over 5 Years
Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced today that it has inked deals with three major space firms, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, for up to 83 rocket launches over 5 years. The move is the tech giant’s bid to enter the low earth orbit satellite internet industry, rivaling SpaceX’s Starlink.
The contracts were made with United Launch Alliance–a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin–for 38 launches, European firm Arianespace for 18 launches, and Blue Origin for 12 launches, with an option for additional 15 launches with Bezos’ private venture.
The initiative, named Project Kuiper, aims to build a low-orbit network of 3,236 satellites to provide internet services. From the signed contracts, the tech firm aims to launch Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rockets, ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rockets, and Blue Origin’s New Glenn rockets.
SpaceX, on the other hand, has already launched around 2,042 Starlink satellites as of January 2022.
While the company has not provided any specifics on the terms of the contract, a ULA Vulcan launch is pegged at US$112 million each based on US government purchases, an Ariane 6 launch is estimated at US$77 million per launch, and a Blue Origin rocket is estimated at US$68 million per launch.
Amazon last traded at US$3,366.93 on the Nasdaq.
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