Bezos to launch first Kuiper satellites in 2022
November 2, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Jeff Bezos and his Project Kuiper team will launch the first test satellites later in 2022, ahead of his planned 3,236 low Earth orbiting broadband constellation.
Project Kuiper will use rocket company ABL Systems to launch the two satellites (named KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2) and not Bezos’s own Blue Origin rockets. The launches will take place from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Amazon filed for a licence to cover the launch with the FCC on November 1st in a highly-detailed 47-page filing.
In a blog, Rajeev Badyal, Kuiper’s VP/Technology, stated: “This morning, we filed an experimental license application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch, deploy, and operate two prototype satellites for Project Kuiper. These satellites – KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 – are an important step in the development process. They allow us to test the communications and networking technology that will be used in our final satellite design, and help us validate launch operations and mission management procedures that will be used when deploying our full constellation.”
“We’ve invented lots of new technology to meet our cost and performance targets for Project Kuiper. All of the systems are testing well in simulated and lab settings, and we’ll soon be ready to see how they perform in space,” he added. “There is no substitute for on-orbit testing, and we expect to learn a lot given the complexity and risk of operating in such a challenging environment. We can’t wait to get started.”