Amazon Secures Three Falcon 9 Launches from SpaceX for Project Kuiper Satellite Internet Constellation

Amazon Secures Three Falcon 9 Launches from SpaceX for Project Kuiper Satellite Internet Constellation

In a significant move, Amazon has inked a three-launch deal with SpaceX to facilitate the deployment of its ambitious Project Kuiper mega-constellation. This announcement follows closely on the heels of a legal challenge Amazon faced for not initially considering SpaceX, renowned as one of the most reliable rocket companies globally, in its initial round of launch contracts.

The slated three Falcon 9 missions are scheduled to commence in mid-2025. Project Kuiper aims to establish a mega-constellation featuring 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit, with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission mandating Amazon to deploy at least half of this constellation by 2026.

Feeling the time pressure, Amazon opted to secure a substantial portion of the launch capacity for the mid-2020s. Last year, the company committed to up to 83 launches through agreements with Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance, incurring a substantial expected cost in the billions of dollars.

This decision sparked controversy, leading Amazon shareholders, specifically the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund, to file a lawsuit against the board. The lawsuit alleges that the board spent less than 40 minutes approving the launch agreements without even considering SpaceX. Notably, the legal complaint contends that SpaceX was never presented as an option during discussions in July 2020 when Amazon informed its audit committee about negotiations with Blue Origin, Arianespace, ULA, and a fourth unnamed company for Kuiper launch contracts.

As this story develops, it underscores the dynamics and competition within the burgeoning space industry as major players like Amazon and SpaceX vie for supremacy in satellite internet ventures.

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