Starlink certainly raised eyebrows when Elon Musk proposed the idea. After a few years, the launch happened, and the service began working in some regions. While others weren’t too excited about the idea, Amazon saw real potential in it and announced Project Kuiper, a rival to Starlink. But Starlink is in the execution phase, while Project Kuiper is yet to send satellites to space.
Amazon posted about the current status of Project Kuiper on its official website. It describes all preparations that have been made to send the first batch of satellites to space. The Vulcan Centaur rocket will carry the first batch of Project Kuiper satellites.
Amazon Project Kuiper: When will the service launch?
It will take time before Project Kuiper will begin onboarding and servicing customers. The two prototype satellites – Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2, will use the Vulcan Centaur rocket to travel to space. Amazon was earlier going to use ABL’s rockets to send the first few satellites, but the delay prompted them to switch. Now, they will use the ULA’s Vulcan rocket in its first launch mission, which will occur in 2023.
The rocket will be launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Amazon has prepared for 92 launches in collaboration with ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Origin. After the successful deployment of all the satellites, Project Kuiper will have a constellation of 3,236 satellites. That number will surpass the number of satellites Starlink has in its constellation.
Meanwhile, interest in satellite internet is growing among internet enthusiasts. The primary reason is the remote availability of internet in regions no broadband service provider is willing to invest in. With satellite internet, you need a dish receiver to receive the internet signal from the satellite and never worry about line cuts again.
But remember that wired connections are more reliable than satellite ones, and it will take a decade of back-and-forth testing to build a sound satellite internet service. Early onboarding isn’t exactly cheap for these services. Starlink recently reduced the plan rates for some regions, and Amazon would have to price Project Kuiper appropriately to entice new customers.