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Amazon buys nine Atlas 5 launches for Kuiper broadband constellation

19 Apr 2021, 18:17 UTC
Amazon buys nine Atlas 5 launches for Kuiper broadband constellation
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Nine Atlas 5 rockets will launch satellites for Amazon’s Kuiper internet network. Credit: United Launch Alliance
Amazon has selected United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket for nine missions from Cape Canaveral to deploy satellites for the Kuiper internet constellation, a fleet designed to eventually number more than 3,200 spacecraft, the companies announced Monday.
The nine missions will lift off from ULA’s facilities at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, but officials did not reveal when they will launch. Amazon and ULA — a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin — also did not disclose how many satellites will fly on each Atlas 5 mission, or which Atlas 5 rocket configuration will launch the Kuiper spacecraft.
“We’re determined to make affordable broadband a reality for customers and communities around the world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “ULA is a fantastic partner that’s successfully launched dozens of missions for commercial and government customers, and we’re grateful for their support of Kuiper.”
Atlas 5 rockets have flown 86 times since 2002, all successfully, with payloads for the U.S. military, the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies, NASA, and commercial customers.
Amazon and ULA did not disclose financial terms of the launch services ...

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