Amazon is building a massive $120 million building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, next door to all of its rocket launch facilities. The webshop group wants to prepare the satellites for its Kuiper project on site for departure into space.
This project is Amazon’s answer to Elon Musk’s SpaceX high-speed satellite internet, codenamed Starlink. Amazon had previously announced plans to put more than 3,200 satellites into orbit. This must be done in about eighty launches. In April last year, Amazon had already signed contracts for this with the European company Arianespace, Blue Origin from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the United Launch Alliance (UAL).
Amazon already started construction at the new site in January and plans to complete it by the end of 2024, it was announced. SpaceX already has satellites in operation and is by far the largest player in the field. But there are more parties that want to operate on the fast satellite internet. For example, China plans to launch up to 13,000 satellites for this purpose, while Canada’s Telesat aims for 300 and German startup Rivada for 600.
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Project Kuiper’s name refers to the Kuiper Belt, a belt of billions of rocks and icy blocks that orbit the sun beyond the planet Neptune. The belt is named after the Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who described in 1951 that the belt must exist. His right can be proven in the early 90’s.
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