Amazon acquired a set of Internet experts from the Facebook team to compete with Elon Musk’s “rival” SpaceX. The acquired team is composed of physicists, as well as software and hardware engineers with experience in aeronautical projects and wireless systems.
The agreement is confirmed between the two parties and leads Amazon to make a financial effort of US$ 10 billion. This bet was essentially to develop low earth orbit (LEO) satellites capable of providing high-speed broadband internet around the world.
The Kuiper project is increasingly taking shape, with this investment Amazon aims to put a constellation with more than 3,000 satellites into orbit to connect thousands of people around the world to the Internet.
Amazon got approval last July from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch the 3,236 Project Kuiper satellites. The company will have to launch half of the satellite constellation by 2026 and place the remaining equipment into orbit by 2029 to maintain its license won last year.
Facebook started its own research around satellite-based internet technology in 2015, but many obstacles were encountered.
There were several failed plans by Facebook to launch its own satellite network, so it was decided to accept the agreement with Amazon, as this will allow its satellite team to continue working, said Facebook in a publication.
In April 2021, Amazon established an agreement with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) to purchase nine Atlas V rockets that will help launch the much-desired satellites. At the same time, Amazon reinforced its support for Project Kuiper development through an initial investment of US$10 billion.
It is expected that the company will launch half of the satellite constellation by 2026 and place the remaining equipment into orbit by 2029.