After years of development, Amazon’s satellite internet system, Project Kuiper, has proven its capabilities. The company released a video showcasing its test satellites in Earth’s orbit, providing internet access to Amazon engineers on the ground. The engineers were able to stream content from Amazon Prime Video, make purchases on the e-commerce site, and even conduct a seamless video call between users in Texas and Washington.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy confirmed the success of the Project Kuiper Protoflight mission, stating a 100% success rate. The test follows the launch of two prototype satellites by Amazon to evaluate Project Kuiper, which aims to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink. The prototype satellites successfully maneuvered in Earth’s low orbit, allowing the satellites to fulfill their primary objective of supplying high-speed internet to users on the ground.
In a blog post, Amazon revealed that they were able to download and upload internet data on the Project Kuiper satellites, offering good broadband quality suitable for 4K video streaming. While there are currently only two test satellites in orbit, Amazon foresees the expansion of Project Kuiper with hundreds, and eventually thousands, of satellites to ensure extensive coverage.
Amazon emphasized that every major system and subsystem on board the prototypes demonstrated exceptional performance, including the flight computers, solar arrays, propulsion system, and advanced radio frequency communications payload. The company plans to conduct further experiments over the next few months to observe the prototypes’ performance in various space conditions.
Based on the insights obtained from the test satellites, Amazon aims to finalize the production satellites for Project Kuiper. These satellites are expected to commence launching in the first half of next year, with beta tests planned for select commercial customers later in 2024. However, Amazon has significant ground to cover as SpaceX’s Starlink already serves two million customers worldwide.