Space X’s billionaire owner, and number one in the space industry race, Elon Musk, now has something to worry about, as Amazon made deals with three rocket companies to launch satellites and provide fast, affordable broadband to millions of people with its Project Kuiper. The same goal Musk has with the Starlink project, Reuters reported.
Amazon through a press release today exposed the agreements signed with three companies: Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) for its Kuiper project.
The space firm, owned by Jeff Bezos, has planned 83 launches in a period of five years, to deploy 3,236 satellites, the largest project in history.
Blue Origin, also founded by Jeff Bezos, has signed up for 12 launches.
Arianespace, the European launch services space industry, which has 15 successful launches to its credit last year, including the launch of NASA’s James Webb space telescope, will make available its new Ariane 6 rocket, with which it will perform 18 launches that will put satellites into orbit, according to ABC.
“This contract, the largest we have ever signed, is a great moment in Arianespace’s history,” said Stéphane Israël, chief executive officer of Arianespace, Businesswire reported.
United Launch Alliance agreed to perform 38 launches with Vulcan Centaur, ULA’s newest heavy-lift launch vehicle. “We are proud to launch the majority of this important constellation,” said Tory Bruno, president, and CEO of ULA.
But SpaceX has long since made significant headway in the affordable broadband Internet race; the Starlink project has gained more than 250,000 global subscribers and launched more than 1,900 satellites to facilitate the service, according to the New York Post.
Now, Musk will have to compete with Bezos for access to NASA’s new lunar landing bid, CNBC reported.
However, Bezos and Musk have long competed and voiced criticisms about their various business interests in the media and even more so on social media.
For example, in August 2021 Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin sued NASA for awarding a $2.9 billion lunar landing contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Bezos argued his lawsuit by explaining that NASA’s April evaluation of the proposals was illegal and inadequate.
Musk then responded on Twitter to Bezos’ accusation with an image of Blue Origin’s prototype lunar lander, edited to read “blue balls.”
In other tweets, the two also express their differences when talking about their companies’ assets, but always take the competition as a joke. Now, with Amazon on his business heels, will Musk continue with the humor that characterizes him?