Centennial-based United Launch Alliance announced Monday it had signed a multi-launch deal with Amazon for the online retailer's project to boost global broadband access.
Amazon secured ULA’s Atlas V rocket for nine launches in the coming years for its Project Kuiper, which will use a “constellation of 3,236 advanced satellites in low earth orbit” for global broadband.
“Project Kuiper will help bridge the digital divide across the United States and around the world, and we could not be more pleased to be working with Amazon to support the initiative,” Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
“ULA is focused on serving our customers' missions and providing reliable, innovative launch solutions. We look forward to launching these important missions.”
The launches will occur at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Amazon earmarked $10 billion to deliver on Project Kuiper.
Once complete, the project “aims to make high-speed, low-latency broadband more affordable and accessible for unserved and underserved communities around the world,” according to Amazon.
The project will serve households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies and other organizations operating in places without reliable broadband.
“We’re determined to make affordable broadband a reality for customers and communities around the world,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in a statement. “ULA is a fantastic partner that’s successfully launched dozens of missions for commercial and government customers, and we’re grateful for their support of Kuiper.”
ULA’s Atlas V has been used by commercial clients and NASA for years, including carrying the most recent Mars rover Perseverance and its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to the Red Planet. Ingenuity made its maiden flight Monday.
“We’ve designed our satellites and dispenser system to accommodate multiple launch vehicles -- this gives us the flexibility to use many different rockets and providers to launch our satellite system,” Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, said in a statement.
“Atlas V is a capable, reliable rocket, and we’re proud to be working with ULA to support these important first launches.”