Amazon plans to launch its first prototype broadband satellites in Q4 2022, which would be nearly four years after SpaceX launched its first prototype Starlink satellites.
“This morning, we filed an experimental license application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch, deploy, and operate two prototype satellites for Project Kuiper,” Amazon said in a blog post. “These satellites—KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2—are an important step in the development process. They allow us to test the communications and networking technology that will be used in our final satellite design, and help us validate launch operations and mission management procedures that will be used when deploying our full constellation.”
Amazon said it will launch the satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket, as part of a multilaunch deal the companies announced today. Amazon’s prototype satellites will operate at an altitude of 590 km.