Amazon ready to overtake Starlink (SpaceX) with Kuiper

Amazon ready to overtake Starlink (SpaceX) with Kuiper

Amazon's Kuiper project gained support from the president of the US Federal Communications Commission. Jeff Bezos wants to launch small satellites in low orbits to provide Internet coverage just like SpaceX's Starlink

Almost green light for Amazon's Kuiper. Jeff Bezos' plan for a constellation of 3,236 communications satellites gained support from the president of the United States Federal Communications Commission, who said he asked other commissioners to approve the project.

The founder of Amazon wants to launch small satellites in low orbits to make the Internet accessible to everyone through a satellite connection

Since last year, in fact, the ambitious plan has been examined by the FCC, called to evaluate the technical aspects and the strategic opportunity of such an artificial constellation. As Umberto Rapetto pointed out on Start , Kuiper "would change not only the spatial ecosystem but also determine a not negligible digital colonization".


Last year Amazon called Kuiper "a long-term project that plans to serve tens of millions of people who don't have basic broadband Internet access."


"Satellite constellations like this aim to provide high-speed broadband service to consumers in the United States and around the world," Ajit Pai said in a tweet on Friday. Pai added that it had requested conditions on the service offered by the Amazon Amazon Kuiper Systems subsidiary without specifying them.

As Bloomberg points out, Pai's request could push the agency, where he leads the Republican majority, to approval.


"We appreciate that President Pai shares our commitment to the matter," said Inve Limp, Amazon's senior vice president for devices and services.

"There are still too many communities where Internet access is unreliable or prohibitive in terms of costs" and Kuiper will help to fill this gap, stressed Limp.


A good step forward for Jeff Bezos but it will be hard to reach Elon Musk. The founder of SpaceX has already launched over 480 of the 12,000 satellites planned for his Starlink constellation.

In October 2019 SpaceX asked the International Telecommunication Union (Itu) for authorization to access the spectrum for another 30,000 Starlink satellites for a maximum of 42,000. The constellation of the aerospace company founded by billionaire Musk could become almost four times larger than initially expected.


Kuiper's progress with the FCC has not benefited SpaceX. On July 11, SpaceX was forced to cancel the last Starlink mission which included 57 satellites.

The company reported on Twitter that the mission needed "more checkout time" and the team was working to identify the next launch opportunity.

The launch would have been the tenth of his Starlink missions and the third in less than two months. Previously, Starlink satellites sparked controversy within the astronomical community, when many expressed fear that their brightness would prevent visibility of the night sky . In April, SpaceX announced a series of updates, pledging to make the new group of satellites "invisible to the naked eye within a week of launch" and obscuring the satellites "so as not to saturate the observatory's detectors". The company added that by June all future Starlink satellites will have "sun visors" that will prevent sunlight from hitting the brightest parts of spacecraft.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Tue, 14 Jul 2020 04:16:13 +0000.