To compete with services like SpaceX Starlink and OneWeb, Amazon is getting ready to launch two test satellites for its Project Kuiper satellite internet constellation. The Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 prototypes will launch into orbit on a Vulcan Centaur rocket from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) in early 2023, the business announced in a news statement on Wednesday.
The company claims that the launch would enable it to conduct tests using data from space on their satellite network technology and that the data will “assist finalise design, deployment, and operational plans for our commercial satellite system.”
Early 2023 is not that far off, but a lot of things still need to go according to plan for the launch to go place on time. One is that Amazon must actually complete the satellites’ construction, which according to a press release, will take place later this year. The rocket is also not finished yet; according to a news release issued by ULA on Wednesday, it hopes to have Vulcan fully completed by November and tested by December. For the time being, though, the engines must still be installed. This will be the rocket’s first flight, so it’s not exactly a tried-and-true launch vehicle.