Bezos makes Kuiper move
April 5, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Jeff Bezos has ordered a massive series of rocket launches to get Amazon’s Project Kuiper broadband system into space.
Amazon has selected Arianespace, its own Blue Origin, as well as the United Launch Alliance for an overall 68 launches, split between the three giant launch providers. The three sets of contracts are by far the largest ever announced by a single client.
Arianespace will use its upcoming Ariane 64 rockets for 18 of the flights. Blue Origin’s New Glenn will absorb 12 flights, while the United Launch Alliance will handle 38 flights.
Project Kuiper will start launching its satellites between 2023, and use United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Vulcan Centaur rockets between 2023 and 2027.
Announced April 5th, the three contracts are simply massive and outshine the previous largest-ever commercial contract which was between Arianespace and OneWeb for 21 launches.