(Reuters) -Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it had secured nine satellite launch vehicles from United Launch Alliance (ULA) to support the initial deployment of its broadband internet initiative, Project Kuiper.
Atlas V launch vehicles from ULA, a joint rocket venture between Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp, is the first of many vehicles which will be used to deploy Amazon’s satellite constellation to orbit.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper, a planned network of over 3,000 satellites that will provide high-speed internet from space, faces stiff competition from the Starlink network by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
“Atlas V is a highly reliable launch vehicle, and provides the right level of performance, capacity and dependability we need to begin our large-scale deployment,” the e-commerce giant said.
Last year, Amazon said it will invest more than $10 billion to build a network of 3,236 satellites that will provide high-speed broadband internet services to people around the world who lack such access.
There are now more than 500 people working on the Project Kuiper program at Amazon, the company said.
(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Ramakrishnan M.)