An artistic rendering of a satellite in orbit | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
The Federal Communications Commission has approved Amazon’s plans for its ambitious Kuiper constellation, which entails sending 3,236 satellites into orbit to beam internet coverage down to Earth. The decision is a crucial regulatory step that paves the way for Amazon to start launching the satellites when they’re ready.
The company plans to send the satellites to three different altitudes, and it claims it needs just 578 satellites in orbit to begin service, according to an FCC document announcing the approval. Amazon has not announced which launch provider it plans to use to fly the satellites into orbit yet. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the rocket company Blue Origin, the launch provider will have to compete to launch the…tech, The Verge