Amazon launches its first satellites in space

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A Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket, carrying Wentian lab module, blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's Hainan province, July 24, 2022. (Photo by Weng Qiyu/People's Daily Online)

Amazon’s first pair of satellites blasted into orbit on Friday, initiating the company’s plan to build a network of satellites in low Earth orbit.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Protoflight mission for Amazon’s satellite network Project Kuiper lifted off at 2:06 p.m. Friday Eastern Time from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The Protoflight launch is the first mission in a broader commercial partnership between ULA and Amazon to launch the majority of the Project Kuiper constellation.

Project Kuiper is Amazon’s plan to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit, to provide high-speed internet access anywhere in the world.

“This initial launch is the first step in support of deployment of Amazon’s initiative to provide fast, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs.

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