Amazon will be launching its first two satellites of the Project Kuiper internet satellite constellation next year.
It will be a task for the team to send them into orbit. It is expected that the company might have to ask SpaceX for its help as it has experience launching the Starlink internet satellite constellation.
“You’d be crazy not to, given their track record,” Amazon senior VP for devices and services Dave Limp told The Washington Post during a webcast, referring to contracting SpaceX to launch its Kuiper satellites into low-Earth orbit.
In 2020, Limp told TechCrunch that “we’re launching agnostic. If you know somebody who has a rocket out there, give us a call.”
Today, the Elon Musk-led company has launched more than 3,500 and has already offered Starlink internet service in several countries, including Ukraine.
On the other hand, Amazon is not even remotely near the launch pad. The e-commerce giant announced that it had started a new satellite development facility in Washington state.
Amazon and SpaceX have been rivals on several grounds. Last year, for example, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos lost it at the Federal Communications Commission for allegedly not holding the Musk-led company accountable for the same set of rules.
Musk has also taken several shots at Bezos. “It does not serve the public to hamstring Starlink today for an Amazon satellite system that is at best several years away from operation,” Musk wrote in a scathing tweet at the time.
Musk also suggested zapping Bezos “with our space lasers.” In another, he appeared to accuse Bezos of impotence.
Hence, given the previous tensions, a probable partnership between the companies will be quite complicated and might lead to an unpleasant situation if the two don’t tread carefully.