Amazon’s Kuiper Project has received the final approval from FCC to launch its satellites into the sky – and provide wireless internet service to people on the ground.
Today’s approval will let the company send 3,236 satellites to Earth’s lower orbit via the first-ever flight of United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket – scheduled to commence its operations later this year.
Amazon’s Satellite Broadband Connections
Following the suit of SpaceX’s Starlink project, Amazon is starting its own satellite-based broadband service, too, under the name of Project Kuiper. The company had sought initial licenses for this in 2020, but FCC granted permission on the condition of obtaining other relevant regulatory approvals.
More specifically, this is about the orbital debris mitigation plan – which the Kuiper Project has finally received approval for! This led the FCC to chain off Kuiper’s program to commence, finally. This will let the company launch about 3,236 satellites into earth’s lower orbit – similar to Starlink, and beam the internet signals down to earth.
Users need to have a receiver set up in their homes (or above any moving objects) to receive the internet connection constantly. This is seen as a game changer while in vehicles (like on flights), where a steady internet connection is still not reliable!
Well, with today’s final approval, Amazon is hoping to connect those who’re unserved or underserved till now. All the concerned satellites are scheduled to be sent through United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket, which is still under testing. Yet, the rocket is expected to take off in the coming months, so we may see the service going live later this year.
Well, Amazon is tasked with submitting a semi-annual report “concerning the number of satellites launched and disposal reliability” and reporting any disposal failures that occur within a single year. Also, FCC wants Project Kuiper to deorbit its satellites after their seven-year mission in space – to prevent them from colliding with the International Space Station and other inhabitable stations.