Amazon picks launch partners for Project Kuiper, selecting everybody but SpaceX

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Amazon has announced the largest commercial launch deal in history, selecting partners for 83 launches of its Project Kuiper satellite deployment.

The retail-giant announced deals with three different rocket companies to launch their satellites over the next five years, but unsurprisingly didn’t sign with rival SpaceX.

The winner was United Launch Alliance (ULA), which will take the majority of the launches, 38 in total, using the company’s Vulcan rocket.

Europe’s Arianespace was the next big winner, securing 12 launches with their new Ariane 6 rocket.

Finally, the Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin was given 12 launches with their Glenn rocket, with options for 15 more.

The financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but analysts estimate they are likely worth at least $10 billion.

Project Kuiper aims to launch 3,236 satellites to provide affordable high-speed internet access to millions of customers around the world.

Its first prototype satellites will launch later this year, after which it will announce when the first operational satellites will be launched.

Amazon has its work cut out for them to catch up to SpaceX.

Elon Musk’s company has already deployed over 2,000 Starlink satellites into orbit, and has been offering satellite internet service to a growing number of countries for over one year.

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