Amazon (AMZN) took a big step toward its goal to launch thousands of internet satellites, announcing Monday that it signed a contract with United Launch Alliance for nine Atlas V launches as part of its Project Kuiper.
The goal is to increase global broadband access through a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. It’s comparable to what SpaceX is doing with its StarLink program.
“We’re determined to make affordable broadband a reality for customers and communities around the world,” Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said in written comments with the announcement. “ULA is a fantastic partner that’s successfully launched dozens of missions for commercial and government customers, and we’re grateful for their support of Kuiper.”
Amazon stock dipped 0.8%, closing at 3,372.01 on the stock market today. Boeing fell 1.6%, to 244.15. Lockheed Martin closed at 391.73, down a fraction.
$10 Billion For Project Kuiper
Amazon has committed more than $10 billion to Project Kuiper. It aims to make high-speed, low-latency broadband more affordable and accessible for underserved communities around the world, Amazon said. In addition, the project will serve individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies and other organizations.
Amazon has more than 500 people working on Project Kuiper.
“Project Kuiper will help bridge the digital divide across the United States and around the world, and we could not be more pleased to be working with Amazon to support the initiative,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO.
SpaceX, through a project called StarLink, currently has 422 satellites in orbit and needs to double that for “moderate” coverage.
Amazon did not say when the launches will begin.
Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.
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