Amazon will build a 172,000 square foot broadband satellite production facility in Kirkland, Washington, to support Project Kuiper. The facility will have the capacity to build as many as four satellites a day.
Project Kuiper is one of several low earths orbiting (LEO) systems that plan to blanket the earth with broadband satellite coverage. Launches of the Project Kuiper constellation of satellites will begin next year.
Amazon says that more than 200 aerospace and manufacturing jobs will be created by the new facility. The company says that building in Kirkland will enable close coordination between broadband satellite design and development teams, which are located in Redmond, WA.
“Getting Project Kuiper’s satellites into space requires significant precision, expertise, and a world-class team committed to our vision,” Rajeev Badyal, Project Kuiper’s vice president of technology, said in a blog post. “This new satellite production facility will significantly expand our manufacturing capacity as we approach to launch and deployment, and it brings us another step closer to delivering on our mission to connect unserved and underserved communities around the world.”
Project Kuiper Plans
In April, Amazon said that it had reached agreements with Arianespace, Blue Origin and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch the majority of the 3,236 satellites it plans to put into orbit. Amazon did not provide a timeline but said that the agreements cover a five-year period.
Earlier this month, Amazon said that it would launch two broadband satellite prototypes on a ULA Vulcan Centaur rocket early next year. So far, Amazon has committed to as many as 92 heavy-lift launches from the three companies. Those contracts, Amazon says, will enable the launch of most of Project Kuiper’s satellite broadband constellation.
Other LEOs are Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink – which already is operational and being used by the Ukraine military in the war with Russia — OneWeb and LeoSat.
The press release says that ULA broke ground on its facility in Decatur, AL. The new facility almost doubled capacity to support its contribution to the Amazon project.