Amazon to build Kuiper satellite processing facility in Florida

Amazon announced it plans to invest $120 million to build a satellite processing facility at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Starlink competitor will build a 100,000-square-foot facility next to the former Space Shuttle landing strip, which was taken over by Space Florida in 2013.

The Kuiper satellites will be built at their Kirkland, Washington facility before being shipped down to the processing facility in Florida. Once the satellites arrive in Florida, they will be readied for flight, attached to the separation system built by Beyond Gravity (formerly RUAG Space), and then encapsulated into the fairings of an Atlas V, Vulcan Centaur, and the New Glenn rockets.

The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2025 and able to support up to three simultaneous launch campaigns a month. The clean room for this processing will be 100 feet tall, with plenty of room to spare for the massive 72-foot-tall New Glenn fairing.

Amazon has already secured numerous launch contracts for their constellation, including 38 on Vulcan Centaur, 18 on Ariane 6, 12 on New Glenn, and 9 on Atlas V. The first 2 test satellites are scheduled to launch on Vulcan Centaur.

However, with that rocket indefinitely delayed while they make structural changes to Centaur V upper stage, Amazon could switch the demonstration launch to an already purchased Atlas V, which is the only operational rocket currently contracted to launch the satellites.

Earlier this year, Amazon revealed their user terminals for Kuiper with 4 options ranging from 100 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second with prices between $100 and $400 for the terminals, however, the fastest option did not have a price disclosed.

Amazon’s constellation is currently planned to be around 3,200+ satellites.

Disclosure: Richard Angle is not an AMZN shareholder.

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at rangle@teslarati.com, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

Richard Angle: Launch journalist, specializing in launch photography. Based on the Space Coast, a short drive from Cape Canaveral and the SpaceX launch pads.
Disqus Comments Loading...