Who is behind Project Kraken?
March 22, 2021
Space Florida, a State-backed unit designed to build on Florida’s already hugely successful space-related activity, is in contact with Project Kraken – a mystery space business that could be looking to locate in or near Florida’s famous Space Coast.
Amazon has confirmed that its Project Kuiper mega-constellation of 3,200 satellites have anything to do with Project Kraken, according to a report by GeekWire. So that’s who’s not behind it.
Space Florida says the Kraken project is seeking a $300 million factory to build satellites that could provide 2000 jobs in the region. Space Florida is keen on picking up the task and says there’s the potential of lease discounts on premises, financial help and grants from the State.
But there are other potential players: OneWeb, for example, is already constructing satellites on Merritt Island at Exploration Park which is just a few yards from the gates of the Kennedy Space Center – and part of Space Florida’s portfolio of properties. The Park offers zero State personal income tax, zero State property tax, zero Business Inventory tax and zero Corporation tax for some qualifying entities.
Tom Choi, the co-founder and former CEO at ABS Satellite, has spoken of his CurvaNet project of 240 satellites. Ottawa-based Telesat wants to build its own constellation with Thales Alenia Space of almost 300 satellites.
But the largest unknown is Elon Musk and his Starlink satellite system. While some 1,300 satellites have been built at Musk’s Redmond, Washington State facility, he has in mind well beyond his (initial) 1,564 satellites, and extends to another 12,000 (which the FCC has already approved) to 30,000 satellites over time.
They have to be built somewhere.
Meanwhile, some conspiracy theorists suggest Musk may have created Project Kraken just to annoy Bezos’s Kuiper.