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Amazon Signs SpaceX Launch Deal to Launch Kuiper Satellites 

By Rachel Jewett | December 5, 2023

      Falcon 9 on the launch pad ahead of the June 30 Transporter-2 rideshare mission. Photo: SpaceX

      Amazon tapped constellation competitor SpaceX to launch some of its Kuiper satellites. Amazon announced a deal on Dec. 1 for three Falcon 9 launches on Friday, targeted to start in mid-2025. 

      This adds to Amazon’s massive deal for up to 83 launches with ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Origin. Those contracts cover launches on the Vulcan Centaur, Ariane 6, and New Glenn — none of which have debuted yet. However, Amazon does have capacity on ULA’s Atlas V, which launched its recent prototype mission.  

      The deal marks Amazon turning to competitor SpaceX, which operates both the largest broadband constellation and most active launch business. Earlier this year, a group of Amazon shareholders sued the company, alleging it did not fully vet the launch contracts awarded to Jeff Bezos’s company Blue Origin and did not consider SpaceX. 

      SpaceX is no stranger to launching broadband competitors and has launched OneWeb satellites and has a deal to launch satellites for Telesat Lightspeed as well. 

      “Project Kuiper satellites were designed from the start to accommodate multiple launch providers and vehicles, allowing us to reduce schedule risk and move faster in our mission to connect unserved and underserved communities around the world … and the additional launches with SpaceX offer even more capacity to support our deployment schedule,” Amazon said in a statement.