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HomeBusinessWatch Two Project Kuiper prototype satellites of Amazon lift off from Florida...

Watch Two Project Kuiper prototype satellites of Amazon lift off from Florida and launch into space

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Credit Project Kuiper Amazon

On October 6, two prototype satellites from Amazon’s Project Kuiper lifted off in the afternoon EDT. The satellites are part of Amazon’s Project Kuiper that intends to put more than 3000 satellites using several rockets from United Launch Alliance ULA, Ariane and Blue Origin to launch satellite based broadband services. Elon Musk’s SpaceX remains the leader in competitive space-based internet broadband services.

Amazon’s satellite launch began when Atlas 5’s RD-180 first-stage engine blasted off at 2:06 EDT, according to reports. It powered the 196-foot-tall rocket towards the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Canaveral Force Station in Florida, U.S.A.

As scheduled, the first stage of the rocket fell away after it had propelled the vehicle and the flight went ahead with the Centaur upper stage. Real time coverage ended as Amazon had requested ULA to end it after stage separation.

About 50 minutes after the launch, ULA confirmed that Kuipersat 1 and 2 prototypes had been successfully deployed. On Friday evening, Amazon released a statement that said that the company was able to make contact with both the satellites in orbit in less than 60 minutes after launch.

 

Amazon is expected to launch 578 relay stations in orbit followed by more than 2700 Kuiper satellites, at later stages. It has planned the following launches:
38 launches with ULA’s new Vulcan rocket
18 flights with European Ariane 6 booster and
12 or more flights with New Glenn rockets built by Blue Origin.

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All these rockets, including those from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin, are in the development stages. None of them have had a maiden flight as yet.

As of now Project Kuiper has revealed a few details. What is known through its site is that its satellites will be launched into three orbital shells. They will circle the earth at altitudes between 370 and 390 miles.

 

Phase 1 of the Kuiper program will have 578 satellites. They will populate orbital planes that are tilted at angles of 51.9 degrees to the equator. Amazon plans to launch a total of 3,236 satellites in low earth orbit in order to provide global internet access.

Amazon has also said that it has always been committed to offering “low prices” and that they would apply “a similar approach with Project Kuiper.”

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