Amazon wants to offer internet connectivity from space

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founder of Blue Origin LLC speaks at a space symposium in Colorado Springs Colorado

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos founder of Blue Origin LLC speaks at a space symposium in Colorado Springs Colorado

The service is called Project Kuiper, which is presumably named after the Kuiper Belt, rather than former Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper Michel Kuipers. There will be 784 satellites at 367 miles, 1,296 satellites at 379 miles, and 1,156 satellites at 391 miles, according to a filing with the International Telecommunications Union, which oversees global telecom satellite operations. Collectively, they'll provide coverage on Earth between 56 degrees north and 56 degrees south latitude, an area that covers roughly 95 percent of the population.

Amazon's desire to get into the modern space race, which is about offering internet access rather than making it to the moon, has been known for a while. In contrast to conventional satellite web, these plans include the utilization of satellites in low Earth orbit, which can be worked economically and with lower latencies. The company said in a statement following the report that its objective is to bring connectivity to "tens of millions of people" worldwide who now lack web access. "We anticipate partnering on this initiative with organizations that share this common vision".

The name won't stick when Amazon goes commercial with it, but for now, "Project Kuiper" is Amazon's very own future constellation of internet satellites in low-Earth orbit. Amazon later confirmed Kuiper Systems is its project.

The working title for Facebook's satellite project is Athena, to be launched in 2019.

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The company launched a cloud computing service that can enable space-to-ground communications, so it's worth noting that Amazon already had plans for such endeavors since a while ago.

Project Kuiper represents the latest space ambition from Jeff Bezos.

Amazon's satellite project faces stiff competition from similar ventures from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX and Airbus-backed OneWeb among others. Ottawa-based Telesat has been also been granted FCC approval and plans to launch 300 satellites. In February, OneWeb launched its first six satellites.

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