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Project Kuiper 1st Prototype to be launched by Amazon

The first two prototype satellites for Amazon’s massive Project Kuiper broadband constellation will launch in 2022. If everything goes as to plan, the two Sat spacecraft will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the fourth quarter of next year. The business started today (Nov. 1). The two will put essential technology to the test for Project Kuiper, an LEO constellation that Amazon hopes to include more than 3,200 satellites eventually.Sat-1 and Sat-2 into orbit by the RS1, a new rocket manufactured by ABL Space Systems in California.

No substitute is present for on-orbit testing, and given the complexity and risk of operating in such a demanding environment, we expect to learn a lot. Sat-1 and Sat-2 will be launched into orbit by the RS1, a new rocket manufactured by ABL Space Systems in California. Amazon also stated today that it has agreed to supply these early Project Kuiper launches as part of a multi-launch arrangement with ABL. According to the ABL specifications page, the 88-foot-tall RS1 can launch 2,975 pounds of payload to LEO.

Every launch of the two-stage rocket will cost $12 million, according to ABL. The RS1 has yet to fly, but ABL has stated that it plans to launch it from Alaska’s Pacific Spaceport Complex. Earlier this year, Amazon said it had reached an agreement with United Launch Alliance, whose Atlas V rocket will launch operational Project Kuiper ship on nine different occasions.

The Project Kuiper constellation isn’t the only one in the works. For example, SpaceX has already launched over 1,700 satellites for its Starlink network, potentially increasing the tens of thousands. In addition, OneWeb has now launched more than half of the 648 satellites that will make up its first constellation.

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