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Amazon switches from Vulcan to Atlas V for first Kuiper prototype launch


Initially meant to launch on the inaugural Vulcan Centaur mission, Amazon has moved the 2 prototype Kuiper satellites off of the delayed rocket to United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V.

As we theorized final month, Amazon has secured the launch of the two Kuiper satellites on the Atlas V. The Atlas V will fly within the 501 configuration, which is able to launching 8,210 kg (18,100 lbs) to low Earth orbit. The prototypes are anticipated to weigh at the very least a pair hundred kilograms, however that has not been confirmed by Amazon. It’s potential they’re extra much like the OneWeb satellite tv for pc design than the SpaceX Starlink.

Amazon to construct Kuiper satellite tv for pc processing facility in Florida

Amazon, which not too long ago introduced the development of a Kuiper satellite tv for pc processing facility at House Florida’s Launch and Touchdown Facility at Kennedy House Heart in Florida, is probably going pushing to get these two prototype satellites to orbit to be able to confirm designs and capabilities to allow them to get the principle a part of the constellation underway.

Render of Amazon’s Kuiper processing facility (Credit score Amazon)

Amazon presently has launch contracts for his or her constellation, together with 38 on Vulcan Centaur, 18 on Ariane 6, 12 on New Glenn, and 9 on Atlas V.

Nonetheless, the shift to Atlas V for Kuiper 1 and a couple of makes eight launches on that rocket. It’s the solely operational rocket able to launching out of these three.

United Launch Alliance nonetheless expects their Vulcan Centaur to launch later this 12 months, however that’s no assure as they end strengthening the Centaur V higher stage and testing the repair.

The Kuiper constellation, as soon as accomplished, can be over 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit with the hopes of competing towards the Starlink constellation that’s full pace forward in its personal operational and deployment section.

The launch of the two Kuiper prototype satellites may come as quickly as late subsequent month as soon as the launch pad is obvious of United Launch Alliance’s present mission, the Silentbarker (NROL-107) satellite tv for pc for the USA Air Power and Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace.

Disclosure: Richard Angle is just not an AMZN shareholder.

Questions or feedback? Shoot me an electronic mail at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

Amazon switches from Vulcan to Atlas V for first Kuiper prototype launch

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