After multiple delays, Amazon, on October 6, 2023, successfully launched two satellites into space. Now Amazon says both satellites are working properly and have completed some early tests. This service is being built to offer high-speed internet to both homes and businesses.
Amazon announced today that its two test satellites have successfully completed early testing of their maneuvering thrusters. This is a critical step for the satellites to properly work. Without the ability to move them into proper orbit and keep them there, the satellites wouldn’t work.
“Space safety and sustainability have been fundamental to Project Kuiper since day 1, and our propulsion system is one of the first systems we built and tested in the lab,” said Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper’s vice president of technology. “Our custom thrusters are a prime example of Kuiper innovation, and using them to maneuver safely in space was a critical piece of our Protoflight mission. The positive results give us even more confidence in our plans to deploy and operate our satellite constellation.”
“There’s plenty of work ahead, but at this point in the mission, I’m thrilled to report that KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 are operating nominally,” said Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper’s vice president of technology back in October as testing started. “The two satellites are stable in orbit, harvesting energy from the sun, and communicating across all links from Earth to space and space to Earth. We’re already learning a lot from this mission that will inform further improvements to our production systems, and the team should be very proud of this milestone.”
This is all apart of what Amazon says will be a months-long testing of its internet service from space. From that testing, Amazon will be able to start its mass production of satellites it hopes to launch next year.
Amazon has been working on this project, code-named Kuiper, since 2019. This is not just some side project; according to Amazon CEO Andy Jassey, it is now one of the main focuses of the company as Amazon wants to bring affordable high-speed internet to millions.
A year ago, Amazon said that Project Kuiper would launch more than 3,000 satellites into low-earth orbit to enable its home internet service. To do this, Amazon has announced plans to build the required satellites in Kirkland, Washington, and launch them with multiple launch partners.
“It is very encouraging to see this advanced network start to come together,” said Badyal. “It gives me a lot of hope that we can make a real difference in giving unserved and underserved communities access to high speed internet connectivity.”
What speeds should you expect?
Here are the three internet speed options Amazon Home Internet will offer:
Standard This standard version will come with an 11″ square antenna that will offer speeds up to 400 Mbps down. This will be perfect for homes.
Pro Version If you need a lot of speed, Amazon has an 11″ by 30″ pro antenna that can offer speeds up to 1 Gbps. This will be perfect for companies or large households.
Portable Version Now if speed is not that important to you, but you want something you can easily travel with, you may want Amazon’s ultra-portable version that is just 7″ square and offers speeds up to 100 Mbps.
What price should you expect?
Reports are that Amazon is hoping to undercut Starlink. So look for a price at or below $100 a month. That may not sound cheap to some, but if you live in a rural area where your options are limited, high-speed internet for under $100 is a great deal.
Here is what Amazon said about the pricing of its new Internet service.
Amazon hasn’t announced pricing details yet, but affordability is a key principle of Project Kuiper. Amazon has a longstanding commitment to low prices, and lots of experience building popular, low-cost devices like Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick. We’re applying a similar approach with Project Kuiper. We also know customer needs will vary quite a bit around the world, and our service offerings may vary from country to country with the right pricing and service for customers in each region.
Yahoo in July posted an interview with Peter Cohan, an associate professor of management practice at Babson College, who said he wouldn’t be surprised if the service would cost $1,000 a year. That would work out to be just over $83 a month.