The US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved Amazon's Project Kuiper in a 5-0 vote, allowing the technology company to deploy and operate a constellation of 3,236 inter-connected satellites to provide internet.
The project will consist of 3,236 satellites that, connected together, will provide broadband in the US for both more populous environments and remote communities.
Amazon plans to invest $10 billion to build the infrastructure to make and launch the satellites.
Amazon has yet to reveal a set plan on when and how it will begin the construction of its satellite constellation, but the FCC said it has until July 2026 to launch 50 percent of its devices and until July 2029 for the other half. In addition, the company must commit to taking the equipment out of orbit after the end the project, so as not to contribute to the high amount of space waste in the region.
"A project of this scale requires significant effort and resources, and, due to the nature of LEO constellations, it is not the kind of initiative that can start small". It could also become a new business for Amazon, selling internet service to people or companies.
The stated amount is almost the same as what Gwynne Shotwell - SpaceX COO - estimated in May 2018 as the amount needed to compete with Starlink. The FCC said it granted the license because it "would advance the public interest by authorizing a system created to increase the availability of high-speed broadband service to consumers, government, and businesses".
Amazon filed its application to the FCC last July, requesting the distribution of the satellites in 98 orbital planes at three different altitudes (590 km, 610 km, and 630 km).
E-commerce company Amazon has come close to launching its satellite. It's opening a research facility in Redmond, Washington, where the satellites will be designed and tested.
Jeff Bezos's firm has not said when those satellites would be launched or what launch vehicle they would use to reach orbit, but the billionaire also owns launch company Blue Origin. Amazon's $10 billion speculations is likewise another valid justification to wager it'll have the option to make this a reality - not many others out there have as solid a subsidizing pipeline for the enormous forthright framework costs that accompany propelling a huge satellite heavenly body.