Amazon Partners With SpaceX For Project Kuiper Satellite Internet Constellation


Amazon has recently struck a three-launch deal with SpaceX to facilitate the deployment of its ambitious Project Kuiper mega-constellation. This collaboration comes shortly after Amazon faced legal scrutiny over its initial decision to exclude SpaceX—a leading rocket company—in its first round of launch contracts.

Key Takeaway

Amazon has signed a three-launch deal with SpaceX to support the deployment of its Project Kuiper mega-constellation. This agreement allows Amazon to make significant progress towards meeting the FCC’s requirement of deploying at least 50% of the planned 3,236 satellites by 2026. The partnership with SpaceX offers Amazon access to reliable launch services, overcoming previous legal challenges and ensuring the timely implementation of Project Kuiper.

A Major Boost for Project Kuiper

Under the new agreement, Amazon has secured three Falcon 9 launches from SpaceX, with the missions scheduled to take place from mid-2025 onwards. Project Kuiper aims to establish a massive constellation comprising 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit, with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission mandating that at least 50% of these satellites be deployed by 2026.

SpaceX Rocket

Expediting the Launch Process

In order to meet the FCC’s deadline, Amazon has taken proactive measures by securing a significant portion of the launch capacity needed for the next few years. In 2020, the company secured up to 83 launches from Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance at an anticipated cost of several billions of dollars.

However, the decision to exclude SpaceX from the initial launch agreements faced backlash from Amazon shareholders, the Cleveland Bakers, and Teamsters Pension Fund. The shareholders filed a lawsuit against Amazon’s board, alleging that the launch agreements were approved in less than 40 minutes without even considering SpaceX as a potential partner.

The lawsuit emphasizes that SpaceX, renowned for its reliability and expertise, was never mentioned as an option. According to the complaint, Amazon management informed the audit committee of talks with Blue Origin, Arianespace, United Launch Alliance, and an undisclosed fourth company for the Kuiper launch contracts in July 2020. The omission of SpaceX from this list is deemed “inexplicable.”

This collaboration between Amazon and SpaceX is a significant milestone for the development of satellite internet constellations. With Project Kuiper, Amazon aims to bring internet connectivity to underserved areas worldwide. By leveraging SpaceX’s proven track record in rocket technology, Amazon can expedite the deployment of its satellite network and expand global internet access in the coming years.

This story is still developing, and further updates on the partnership between Amazon and SpaceX are expected to be revealed in the near future.

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