Amazon.com plans to launch the first pair of prototype internet satellites late next month on a different rocket than originally planned, a spokesman said on Monday, again changing its route. spaceship to avoid rocket delay.
The company will launch the first two satellites of Amazon’s Kuiper program, which aims to bring the internet to the world from space, on a dedicated Atlas V rocket of the Boeing-Lockheed United Launch Alliance (ULA) joint venture. Spokesman James Watkins said.
Amazon last year announced plans to launch a pair of satellites on the first flight of ULA’s new Vulcan rocket, moving them away from previously planned rockets from the launch of ABL Space to avoid delays in development of the ABL rocket.
But delays with Vulcan prompted Amazon to change course again as the e-commerce giant faces a regulatory deadline of 2026 to deploy half of its 3,200 planned satellites. for its Kuiper internet.
A ULA spokesperson said that Vulcan, which is scheduled to launch in early 2023 by the time Amazon decides to use it, has experienced testing issues that put a target launch date of Q4 2023. In an effort to add power to Amazon’s web services and compete with Elon Musk’s older SpaceX Starlink network, Amazon has committed to investing $10 billion (roughly Rs 82,700) in the satellite internet company and By 2022, 83 launches have been made to deploy it into orbit. , marking the largest commercial launch sale ever.
Nine of those launches included the Atlas V rocket, ULA’s dedicated launch pad that launched satellites into space on multibillion-dollar science missions for NASA and the majority of security missions. country of the United States for the Pentagon.
ULA spokeswoman Jessica Rye said ULA 2021 had stopped selling Atlas V and had 19 more flying missions before the rocket was decommissioned. The company has already imported large quantities of Russian-made RD-180 engines for the remaining missions and has no plans to order more.
It’s not clear if the Atlas V slated for September release is among the nine already purchased by Amazon.