Amazon postpones launch of test satellites to early 2023
Amazon has other important steps to take before the global internet access service over a satellite network that is part of its Kuiper project can be commercially offered in the coming years.
The company has yet to create its own satellite network in order to compete with other specialized companies such as Starlink and OneWeb in this service segment.
Amazon as an internet access provider for areas without coverage
In this regard, it now appears that the launch of the new test satellites will take place in early 2023, although the launch of new test satellites is planned for the fourth quarter of this year since last year.
And not only that: instead of being launched with an ABL Space Systems rocket, as planned, the launch will now take place with a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rocket.
The strangest thing is that neither Kuipersat-1 nor Kuipersat-2, as these new test satellites are called, nor the Vulcan rocket are completely ready.
Amazon said this week that it hopes to complete its new satellites by the end of the year, while the ULA rocket is expected to be completed next November and previous test development by December.
According to the Washington Post, ULA Vulcan will need to be launched twice in 2023 to prove it is a reliable platform before it begins service with the US Space Force in the fourth quarter of next year.
Meanwhile, Amazon can’t waste much time as it needs to launch at least half of its planned satellites by 2026, allowing it to maintain its FCC license with the idea that they will eventually have a total of 3,236 satellites in orbit. to “bring fast and affordable broadband to disadvantaged and underserved communities around the world”
In this regard, several launches are already planned in the coming years, and not only with the Vulcan rocket, as there will also be launches with Arianespace and Blue Origin, although many more launches are still to be planned.
Learn more: Amazon