15 April 2019
Amazon is planning to build a network of over 3,000 satellites according to a recent federal filing. The company wants to provide global internet access to users across the world.
The initiative called ‘Project Kuiper’, is the latest space ambition from Jeff Bezos. The company had previously announced its cloud business will build a network of satellite facilities on Earth. While Jeff Bezos' space venture Blue Origin is working towards space tourism.
Amazon plans to build a network of 3,236 satellites. The project will require building, launching and operating the satellites and will require intensive capital to the tune of billions of dollars. Bezos is already funding Blue Origin with upwards of $1 billion a year. Bezos e-commerce platform Amazon is one of the world's most valuable companies.
Kuiper is I named for the late Dutch American astronomer Gerard Kuiper and is a name of a belt of objects that include asteroids as well as dwarf planets.
"Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world," an Amazon spokesperson stated.
"This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision."
A number of tech giants are working towards building a network of satellites to provide internet access across the globe. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched two test satellites for its "Starlink" network which will be a part of a constellation of 4,425 satellites. Softbank-backed OneWeb has also launched six satellites which will be a part of a constellation of 650 interconnected satellites.