Amazon is launching its first internet satellites next year. It'll be around 2,000 satellites behind SpaceX.

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Amazon is launching its first internet satellites next year. It'll be around 2,000 satellites behind SpaceX.
Amazon Project Kuiper rocket. Amazon
  • Amazon wants to provide you internet from space.
  • It's launching the first two prototype satellites for its Project Kuiper service by late 2022.

Amazon already dominates online retail. Soon, it wants to sell you the internet itself.

By late 2022, the company will launch the first satellites for Project Kuiper, a broadband service that will beam internet down from space, the company said Monday.

The online-retail juggernaut said it plans to send two prototype satellites into orbit to start. The initial launches will help Amazon fine-tune its satellite design and launch procedures.

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"There is no substitute for on-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment," Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper's vice president of technology, said in a statement.

Amazon has contracted ABL Space Systems, a rocket startup, to launch the satellites into low Earth orbit. Amazon has said that the Project Kuiper constellation will eventually comprise 3,236 satellites.

Satellite internet providers like Project Kuiper, Starlink, and OneWeb aim to provide high-speed internet to places poorly served by current infrastructure. Theoretically, customers can connect to satellite internet from anywhere in the world, making the services especially valuable for remote communities.

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Elon Musk's SpaceX is working on a similar product, Starlink, which is much further along in its development. Some 2,000 Starlink satellites already orbit the Earth and the service has thousands of beta testers. SpaceX has said that more than 500,000 people have either ordered or placed a deposit for Starlink.

Musk and Jeff Bezos' rivalry extends to other space ventures as well. Earlier in 2021, Bezos' rocket company, Blue Origin, lost a bid to SpaceX to send NASA astronauts to the moon. It's challenging the decision in court.

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