• The Wall Street Journal reports that on Friday, "Amazon.com’s first satellites blasted into orbit, moving the e-commerce company closer to a satellite-internet business that could compete with SpaceX and other rivals.
A rocket carrying two Amazon prototype satellites lifted off Friday afternoon from a Florida launchpad, according to a livestream. The technology giant expects the mission to demonstrate how the satellites perform in space while testing other systems.
Amazon in 2019 unveiled plans for a satellite network called Project Kuiper and has said it would invest $10 billion to build it up. The company has permission from U.S. regulators to deploy more than 3,200 satellites over time. Like other operators of low-Earth-orbit constellations, as such satellite fleets are called in the industry, Kuiper aims to sell high-speed, low-latency broadband to subscribers.
"Its chief rival is Starlink, as SpaceX calls its satellite-internet service. SpaceX has aggressively manufactured satellites for Starlink and blasted them off using the company’s partially reusable rockets, giving it around 4,800 satellites in orbit so far."