Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Technology in Space and Defence
Amazon recently announced that its Project Kuiper team will move in 2020 to a permanent research and development headquarters with state-of-the-art facilities for designing and testing its planned megaconstellation of broadband satellites.
What is Project Kuiper?
- It is a constellation of 3,236 satellites Amazon plans to deploy in low Earth orbit for low-latency, high-speed broadband.
- The constellation is planned as a network of 784 satellites at the lowest altitude (590 kilometres), 1,296 satellites at the next-highest altitude (610 kilometres) and the remaining 1,156 floating at the highest (630 kilometres) orbit above the Earth.
- With this project, Amazon joins SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat in planning large constellations of internet-beaming satellites.
- Amazon recently informed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that it plans to launch Project Kuiper satellites in five waves, with satellites designed to operate for seven years.
- Project Kuiper gets its name from a region of the Solar System that exists beyond the eight major planets, called the Kuiper belt.
- Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, also owns launch company Blue Origin, whose New Glenn orbital rocket is slated for a first launch in 2021.
- Amazon’s Web Services business also has a ground station business that communicates with satellites as they circle the planet.