SpaceX is set to deliver Amazon’s satellite packages.
The tech giant signed a three-launch deal with SpaceX to send its Project Kuiper internet satellites to orbit aboard a Falcon 9, the company announced on Friday. The flights are slated to begin in mid-2025 and will provide much-needed additional capacity to deploy its $10B+, 3,236-bird LEO constellation.
Hug it out: The company has already booked a whopping 77 heavy-lift launches with ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Origin, noticeably leaving SpaceX out of the equation—until now.
Amazon has been reluctant to send hundreds of millions of dollars to SpaceX as its satellites will compete directly with Starlink birds, and given Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rivalry with SpaceX. However, the company has been facing shareholder pressure via a recent lawsuit, which accused the company of not considering SpaceX despite it being the most prolific launch provider.
The bookstore-turned-everything store recently launched two prototype satellites and reported a 100% success rate, validating the company’s tech.
- Amazon said it would begin ramping up manufacturing and deployment next year.
- The company believes it will be in a position to begin service next year.
Still, a lot of unknowns remain surrounding the contracted New Glenn, Ariane 6, and Vulcan rockets. The vehicles have yet to fly, and Amazon is banking on an ambitious launch cadence to build out the constellation.