Beyond Gravity Wins Big in Amazon/Kuiper Launch Deal

Image: Amazon, Arianespace, & Beyond Gravity. Compiled by Andrew Parsonson.

Image: Amazon, Arianespace, & Beyond Gravity. Compiled by Andrew Parsonson.

Amazon sent shockwaves throughout the space world yesterday. The largest-ever commercial launch deal gave a kick of nitrous to the European space machine. 

Beyond the headlines: Arianespace won big, snagging its largest single contract ever. But that wasn’t Europe’s only winner: Amazon’s dealmaking included the largest contract ever awarded to Beyond Gravity, the artist company formerly known as RUAG Space. 

  • The company increased revenue by 15% in 2021. 
  • Side note: The company just rebranded last month. Something tells us it wasn’t a coincidence. 

Arianespace Launches

  • Of the (up to) 83 launches, Arianespace snagged 18. The company will launch its share of missions aboard Ariane 64s carrying 35 to 40 satellites at a time. 
  • 16 of the 18 Ariane 64 flights will utilize the proposed P120C+ upgraded boosters that we wrote about yesterday. Approval for the booster upgrade program now appears to be all but ceremonial.  

Dispensing Kuiper-Sats like Pez Candy

While the rocket makers are splitting the multibillion-dollar launch pot, Beyond Gravity gets the whole orbital deployment lot. The company will supply a scalable dispenser system for all of Kuiper’s selected launch vehicles. 

  • To fulfill this mammoth order, the company is building a new facility in Linköping, Sweden. 
  • The new facility is planning its ribbon-cutting in 2023, preparing Beyond Gravity to double production capacity and create 60 new jobs. 

Ripple effects: Beyond Gravity has said that it will source material and components from a broad European supplier base.

+ While we’re here: Ariane 6 will launch 35–40 of Amazon’s internet satellites on each rocket. Vulcan will hold 45 and New Glenn will carry 61.