Doubling Down on the Space Leap

Human beings face a lot of obligations over the course of their lives, but their need to stay ambitious certainly stands out from the rest. This is because, if we are not being ambitious on a rather consistent basis, we are practically wasting our potential, and that can end up inflicting some serious consequences. Hence, to keep such a volatile scenario at bay, the world has effectively conceived certain pathways through which we can make the most of our abilities. While all these pathways do a decent job in regards to showcasing the grand human horizons, the one that deserves a special mention here is technology. Technology’s tendency to make major breakthroughs has been on display right from the get-go, and as if the said dynamic wasn’t enough, it has also clocked those breakthroughs within different areas throughout our spectrum, hence triggering a more collective growth. Having said that, we must acknowledge how some of our forays boast a relatively higher significance. An example for the same resides in our progression around the outer space. Even though the space industry didn’t always hold an eminent status, the sector’s current trajectory does everything to signal towards a better future, and Amazon’s latest announcement will only substantiate the said indication even further.

Amazon has officially partnered with United Launch Alliance, Blue Origin, and Arianespace for conducting over 83 launches in relation to the company’s brainchild, Project Kuiper. According to certain reports, the flights will be spaced across a 5-year period. Notably enough, they are going to transport a bigger chunk of 3,236 satellites that Amazon plans on sending into space. If we break down the figures, 38 of the 83 launches are slated to be handled by ULA, another 18 fall under the umbrella of Arianespace, whereas Blue Origin is expected to oversee 12 launches in total. There is an option to buy another 15 from the latter company, but that decision is still very much up in the air. At present, Amazon hasn’t revealed any financial details regarding the deal. However, the company’s sources are deeming it “the largest commercial procurement of launch vehicles in history.”

“We still have lots of work ahead, but the team has continued to hit milestone after milestone across every aspect of our satellite system,” said Dave Limp, senior vice-president for devices and services at Amazon. “These launch agreements reflect our incredible commitment and belief in Project Kuiper, and we’re proud to be working with such an impressive lineup of partners to deliver on our mission.”

Designed to give Starlink a run for its money, Project Kuiper functions within bit of a similar premise, which is to generate low-latency internet service from low Earth orbit and make it available across the globe. The whole process will be facilitated by a Project Kuiper’s user antenna, a device that we first heard about back in 2020.

Assuming everything pans out as per the script, Amazon will launch the prototype flights in the fourth quarter of 2022, and whatever results are observed here will decide a provisional date for the first official flight.

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