Amazon’s satellite internet system, Project Kuiper, has showcased its success in a new video release. The footage demonstrates Project Kuiper’s test satellites in orbit, delivering internet access to Amazon engineers on the ground. The engineers were able to stream from Amazon Prime Video, make purchases on the e-commerce site, and have lag-free video calls between users in Texas and Washington. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy confirmed the 100% success rate of the Project Kuiper Protoflight mission on Twitter.
The recent test follows the launch of prototype satellites by Amazon more than a month ago. These prototype satellites maneuvered successfully in Earth’s low orbit, and now they can fulfill the main objective of providing high-speed internet to users on the ground. The broadband quality was good enough to support 4K video streaming, although exact speeds were not specified. As of now, Amazon only has two test satellites in orbit, resulting in a limited communication window. However, the company plans to launch hundreds, and eventually thousands, of satellites to ensure wide coverage.
Amazon reported that all major systems and subsystems of the prototype satellites performed well after launch. Ongoing experiments will continue to test the performance of the satellites under different conditions and observe their durability in space. The insights gained from these tests will be used to finalize the production satellites for Project Kuiper. The first batches of production satellites are expected to launch in the first half of the next year, followed by beta tests with selected commercial customers in 2024.
While Amazon’s Project Kuiper shows promising potential, it has some catching up to do compared to SpaceX’s Starlink, which already serves 2 million customers worldwide.