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Amazon lines up satellite launches to take on Musk’s Starlink

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

(Reuters) -Amazon.com Inc has secured 83 rocket launches over five years to put together a satellite constellation, called Project Kuiper, to beam broadband internet, the e-commerce giant said on Tuesday, as it looks to take on Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s Starlink.

The deals were inked with Europe’s Arianespace, Jeff Bezos-founded Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co, Amazon said.

Project Kuiper aims to use over 3,000 satellites in low earth orbit to beam high-speed, low-latency internet to customers, including households, businesses and government agencies.

Securing launch capacity from multiple providers reduces risks associated with launch vehicle stand-downs and saves costs that can be passed on to customers, said Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper.

The contract includes 18 launches with Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rockets, 12 launches with Blue Origin’s New Glenn and 38 launches with ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rockets.

That together will provide capacity for the company to deploy the majority of its satellite constellation, the company said.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) also said it was designing and developing its low-earth orbit satellites and customer terminals in-house.

Amazon secures 83 rocket launches for its satellite broadband network

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