Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch over 3,000 internet satellites to the orbit of the earth.
Kuiper to bring internet access to remote areas
The Kuiper satellite constellation has been designed to do away with internet dark spots more so in the US and it will have a total of 3,236 satellites which will cost around $10 billion. The Amazon satellites will track the low earth orbit from 590Km to 630Km above the surface of the earth. They will utilize 18.8-20.2GHz or 17.7-18.6GHz and 27.5-30.0GHz frequencies for space to earth and earth to space communications respectively.
Dave Limo, Amazon’s SVP Devices & Services stated that there have been stories of late about people who can’t complete schoolwork or job due to lack of reliable internet. He added that since there are a lot of places that broadband access of the internet is not reliable or doesn’t exist they intend to change that with the Kuiper satellites.
The e-commerce giant has six-year for the launch of around 50% of the 3,000 robust constellations with the rest of the launch completed in nine years. They will activate the service after the first batch of the five batches has been launched to orbit despite not having a specific design and date of launch.
Amazon required to come up with a strategy to orbital debris
According to the FCC, the approval of the Kuiper application is in the interest of the public subject to certain conditions and requirements. The FCC report stated that the service that Kuiper is planning to offer will benefit US consumers. One of the conditions for approval is for Amazon to come up with a comprehensive strategy about reducing the risk of orbital debris. This means that Amazon should ensure that there is no collision between their satellites and those in space which might result in a domino effect thus jeopardizing future missions.
After the company has finalized the design of its space station and before the commencement of the service they will have to get approval from the FCC on orbital debris mitigation strategies.