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Amazon to Invest $120 Million in Satellite Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

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Ziad Najjar
Ziad Najjar is an Egyptian author who studied business and finance in the United States and has a keen interest in media. He combines his expertise in these fields to create informative and engaging works accessible to a broad audience.

Amazon to Invest $120 Million in Satellite Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Amazon has announced that it will invest $120 million to construct a satellite processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This move comes as the tech giant prepares to launch the initial satellites for its Project Kuiper internet network.

The facility will be built at the Launch and Landing Facility (LLF), which was previously used for NASA’s Space Shuttle missions. Currently leased and operated by Space Florida, the state’s space economy development arm, the LLF will now host Amazon’s satellite processing operations.

Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida, expressed his excitement about Amazon becoming the first major tenant at the LLF, stating that it demonstrates the state’s strong support for the space industry.

Project Kuiper is Amazon’s ambitious plan to deploy a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit, aiming to provide high-speed internet access worldwide. The 100,000-square-foot processing facility at Kennedy Space Center will play a crucial role in preparing the satellites for launch on rockets from the United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which he separately owns.

Steve Metayer, Amazon’s vice president of Kuiper production operations, revealed that the construction of the facility will be completed by the end of 2024, with the first production satellites expected to undergo processing there in early 2025.

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Last year, Amazon made headlines by securing the largest corporate rocket deal in the industry’s history to launch its satellites. The company has already booked 77 launches and has options for more to meet regulatory requirements promptly.

Amazon is aiming to launch its first two Kuiper prototype satellites in the coming months, pending the readiness of the rocket that will carry them. The prototypes are planned to be launched on ULA’s Vulcan rocket, which has experienced delays and is now scheduled for the fourth quarter. While Amazon is willing to adjust its plans accordingly, it is exploring alternative options to ensure the timely deployment of the prototypes.

The Kuiper prototypes have already been transferred from ABL’s RS1 rocket to Vulcan.

Currently, Project Kuiper employs over 1,400 people, with its primary facilities located near Seattle in Redmond and Kirkland. Amazon also has satellite offices in San Diego, Austin, New York City, and Washington, D.C., strategically locating its operations where the talent is available.

With this significant investment in satellite technology, Amazon is making a bold move to expand its presence in the space industry and provide global internet connectivity.

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