Amazon signs deal with SpaceX for satellite launch partnership

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 lifts off from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral early on September 21, 2014. BRUCE WEAVER/AFP/Getty Images

  • Amazon has signed a deal with SpaceX to use Falcon 9 rockets to launch Amazon’s low-orbit satellites.
  • Financial terms of the deal between the satellite internet rivals were not disclosed.
  • The rockets are scheduled to launch in 2025 in support of Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

Amazon and SpaceX, rivals in the satellite internet space, have signed a deal to launch satellites supporting Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

Three launches of SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rockets are planned for early to mid-2025, Amazon said in a Friday statement, but financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Amazon said the launches using SpaceX’s rockets will increase the company’s capacity to support the full deployment of its own satellites into low Earth orbit, scheduled to begin in the first half of 2024.

As part of its $10 billion plan to create a satellite constellation to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink, Amazon has also announced partnerships with Arianespace, United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin for up to 83 launches, which are intended to transport a large part of satellites into orbit.

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that while the previously announced launch contracts would provide enough capacity to launch the majority of the company’s planned constellation, “we had always planned to add more capacity to support our long-term deployment plan, and These launches are part of that strategy.”

In response to the news on X, formerly Twitter, CEO of SpaceX said Elon Musk: “SpaceX is launching competing satellite systems without favoring its own satellites. Fair and honest.”

SpaceX representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.

Two prototypes for Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation, a direct competitor to SpaceX’s Starlink, were launched in early October. The prototype launch of KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 has been postponed until late 2022 due to changes to the rocket delivery system that launches the devices.

The prototypes – which Amazon said helped validate the design and network architecture – are the first of more than 3,200 satellites to be launched over the next six years that Amazon plans to use to provide orbital broadband internet.

Starlink began launching satellites in 2019 and has over 4,000 satellites in orbit, with plans to eventually build a constellation of about 42,000.

In September the company announced It had established internet connectivity on all seven continents and provided high-speed internet to more than 2 million people in 60 countries.

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