Amazon has taken an important new step towards its own satellite communication network. The company has obtained approval from the U.S. telecom authority to launch more than 3,000 satellites.
Amazon was authorized to launch 3,236 satellites to a low Earth orbit . The constellation is part of Project Kuiper, with which Amazon wants to build its own satellite constellation. They must send out internet signals. The project is similar to many other projects such as SpaceX ‘Starlink or OneWebs constellation.
The company has now been officially cleared by the US Federal Communications Commission. It may continue with the plans. There are conditions, however, writes the FCC . For example, Amazon must have launched half of the satellites by 2026, and the rest by 2029. Amazon must also draw up a plan for how to prevent space debris by the satellites.
At the moment, Amazon has yet to show much of the project. For example, it is not known how the satellites will look or work. Amazon says it plans to launch 578 satellites before it has enough coverage, but it is not known which rocket will lift the satellites. That could happen to Blue Origin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company. The orbital New Glenn missile will not be launched until 2021 at the earliest.
Amazon said last year that the satellites will fly at three different altitudes; 590, 610 and 630 kilometers. The satellites are said to have a lifespan of between five and seven years and then return to the atmosphere by themselves. Amazon says it plans to invest $ 10 billion in Project Kuiper.