Amazon and SpaceX internet

Amazon Satellite Launch Challenges SpaceX in Internet Race

In a bid to rival broadband offerings by SpaceX, Amazon made its inaugural foray into the global internet coverage race on Friday, successfully launching a pair of test satellites. The ambitious mission, initiated at approximately 11:20 a.m. EST, saw the United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket thunder into the sky from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


This landmark launch marks the commencement of Amazon’s endeavor to enhance global internet coverage through a constellation of 3,236 satellites orbiting Earth. In contrast, SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, gained a substantial lead by deploying its first Starlink satellites in 2018, followed by operational satellites in 2019. The California-based company has already launched around 5,000 satellites, utilizing its own Falcon rockets from both Florida and California.


Meanwhile, Europe’s Eutelsat OneWeb has bolstered its presence in the competition, deploying 600 satellites into orbit. Amazon, however, is aggressively pushing forward, aiming to have its service operational by the end of 2021.


To achieve this ambitious goal, Amazon had to recalibrate its strategy, shifting away from its initial plans of utilizing the ULA Vulcan rocket. This deviation arose from recent technical challenges, causing a delay that potentially extended the launch date to the conclusion of 2021. Presently, Amazon has inked agreements with various launching agencies, reserving a total of 77 launches to ensure its satellites reach their designated orbits.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has laid down stringent directives, mandating that a minimum of half of Amazon’s satellites be in active operation by 2026, with all of them slated to be fully operational by 2029. As of now, Amazon is on course to meet these regulatory benchmarks.


With a demanding timeline ahead, Amazon, SpaceX, and Eutelsat OneWeb are locked in a race to deliver global internet access through space-based satellites at the swiftest pace. The first satellite launch, now successfully completed, sets the stage for a fierce competition between SpaceX and Amazon as they strive to revolutionize broadband technology and offer customers unprecedented connectivity options. Only time will unveil the next chapters in this gripping saga of technological advancement.

Source: AP News

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