April 20, 2021

HMM: Amazon’s first Internet satellites will not launch on Blue Origin rockets.

The announcement provides concrete evidence that the ambitious Internet-from-space project is making progress. It is also notable for the choice of launch vehicle—Amazon is not employing the New Glenn rocket, which is under development by Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin.

Amazon did not say when the first launch will occur, but the company said it had contracted with United Launch Alliance for nine launches to begin building out its constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. A spokesman declined to say how many of the satellites each Atlas V rocket would be capable of launching.

In a blog post, Amazon said it had chosen ULA’s Atlas V rocket for its high reliability.

That’s a nice win for ULA, but a helluva miss for Blue Origin.

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