Amazon's satellite broadband gets FCC approval, will launch over three thousand satellites...

Humza

Posts: 686   +159
Staff member
What just happened? Nearly a year after filing with the FCC, Amazon's plan to launch a constellation of internet satellites was unanimously approved by the regulatory agency this week. Project Kuiper, as it's known, will be executed in five phases to deploy 3,236 internet satellites in low Earth orbit. As per the FCC's terms, Amazon will have to launch half of these satellites by mid-2026 and the remaining half by mid-2029.

After getting approval from the FCC for Project Kuiper, Amazon has now officially joined the internet-from-space race to compete with SpaceX's Starlink, Facebook Athena, and a few other ventures.

Amazon filed its application for regulatory approval last year and was later sought to be rejected by SpaceX, OneWeb, and several other original licensees who accused the retail giant of jumping to the front of the line after skipping FCC's spectrum licensing round held in 2016.

According to the terms of the approval, Amazon will be required to have 50 percent of Project Kuiper's 3,236 satellites in their assigned orbits and operational by July 30, 2026, while the rest will need to be functional by July 30, 2029. Additionally, the FCC laid the condition that Amazon will operate on a "non-interference, non-protected basis" with other operators and also submit an updated "Orbital Debris Mitigation" plan that addresses satellite collision and re-entry casualty risk.

Amazon, which has yet to finalize the design of Kuiper satellites, noted that these satellites will be deorbited within 355 days following mission completion. The company plans to execute Project Kuiper in five phases over the next decade and claims that will only need 578 satellites (~18 percent of total stations) in orbit to begin offering services.

Amazon is also pouring over $10 billion in Project Kuiper and expects the initiative to create jobs and infrastructure in the US, and advance its ground network and satellite manufacturing capabilities to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband to customers around the globe.

As companies worldwide compete in the satellite broadband space to reach and benefit every corner of the world (literally) with the internet, this decade will also prove crucial for solving (or worsening) the space debris problem in low Earth orbit (LEO).

Referred to as the "orbital space junkyard" by NASA, the challenge to keep LEO clean of defunct pieces of spacecraft, rockets, satellites, and other man-made machinery will become more difficult and require even more global attention and effort once our skies are occupied by the influx of thousands upon thousands of internet-beaming satellites.

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p51d007

Posts: 2,442   +1,710
It's a secret space shield that will keep any "aliens" from invading! When aliens threaten, they will turn on a secret switch that will activate the shield. LOL
Boy, with all that low orbit crap, it's really going to tick off skywatchers won't it?
 

MaestroIT

Posts: 14   +11
Really stupid, space junk need to be approved by an international committee, in a way that no redundant junk is out there.... why have 3 separate internet-from-space networks, each with 3000-4000-12000 sats in space...

somebody should order all companies who want this space-internet to join forces and just make 1 network.

I don't want the future generations to be in the BNL spaceships
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,213   +5,598
NASA and their affiliates need to put into their design mandates that once any satellite it put into orbit it must include a fail-safe retrieval function that would push it into lower atmosphere to burn up on re-entry. And Space X should be required to launch a satellite that pulls a gigantic (1 mile wide or bigger) garbage bag around the orbit, collecting up all the junk and pushing the entire thing into the atmosphere. In other words, make these companies responsible for cleaning up their own messes or prohibit them from putting anything up there ..... Hey, maybe this is a new cause for AOC to promote!!!
 

jobeard

Posts: 13,896   +1,763
Referred to as the "orbital space junkyard" by NASA, the challenge to keep LEO clean of defunct pieces of spacecraft, rockets, satellites, and other man-made machinery
making all these satellites a stupid choice -- just imagine our OWN JUNK colliding with a manned mission!
 

Bp968

Posts: 146   +102
NASA and their affiliates need to put into their design mandates that once any satellite it put into orbit it must include a fail-safe retrieval function that would push it into lower atmosphere to burn up on re-entry. And Space X should be required to launch a satellite that pulls a gigantic (1 mile wide or bigger) garbage bag around the orbit, collecting up all the junk and pushing the entire thing into the atmosphere. In other words, make these companies responsible for cleaning up their own messes or prohibit them from putting anything up there ..... Hey, maybe this is a new cause for AOC to promote!!!
NASA doesn't run space. No one in the US does. If you put unreasonable limits on what US companies can do in space you just push the projects over into other countries. Do it enough and suddenly they lead in space tech.

Space junk is mostly a problem for the future. And mankind is pretty terrible at long term planning so don't expect anyone to put any significant money or effort into dealing with it until it actually becomes a problem.
 
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Bp968

Posts: 146   +102
Does anyone else see the humor in the fact that Bezos will most likely be hiring SpaceX to launch his satellites into space to compete with Starlink? Id love to see Musk put some Starlink sats on as a secondary payload on one of Bezos's launches. Lol
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 759   +448
Curious about this satellite internet. Does it go down if there are clouds? Is it fast? How does it connect to the network? I’ve used satellite phones before and they were dreadful, I remember having to wade out to sea to get a signal!

I guess I’ve got some googling to do.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,118   +1,102
Staff member
Curious about this satellite internet. Does it go down if there are clouds? Is it fast? How does it connect to the network?
Can’t speak for Starlink but used satellite internet for a while before switching to 4G LTE. Peak download was around 25 Mbps, upload around 0.5; ping was universally awful. Signal was affected by cloud cover but not hugely so. Biggest issue was cost: £70 per month with a 30 GB data cap. Once 4G was an option, dropped it quicker than I could blink.

Satellite internet connects to the global network via a central hub that receives/sends data much like an end user does; the hub is connected via fibre, usually.
 
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Bp968

Posts: 146   +102
Curious about this satellite internet. Does it go down if there are clouds? Is it fast? How does it connect to the network? I’ve used satellite phones before and they were dreadful, I remember having to wade out to sea to get a signal!

I guess I’ve got some googling to do.
Starlink should have pings in then 15-50ms range and up to 1GB transfer speeds. It's designed for stationary installations at the moment (no sat-phone mobile style devices) and will supposedly use a dish the size of a pizza box.

As for rain fade or weather fade, im sure it will happen. But it should be vastly superior to current geostationary broadband links due to higher power links, and redundant links due to the nature of the LEO constellation. If one satellite has poor signal the antenna can pick up one in a different direction with a better signal. The system is supposedly using both Ka and Ku bands so its possible they are using both to provide link failover for better link quality (Ku for bandwidth, Ka for reliability, etc) but I don't know for sure.

It should be lower latency and higher speed than 4G in most cases. 4G also tends to have significant data caps and much slower data rates.

The primary targets for starlink are not people who can currently get DSL cable or fiber. SL is multi hundred MB to GB speed broadband that works almost anywhere that can see the sky. Once SL is active you could easily live in the middle of Montana or any other extremely rural or remote area and still have the same connectivity as someone in the middle of the city.

Personally I want a home in the middle of 30+ acres, with starlink, and solar energy. Totally off the grid. Before SL living off grid always ment a big sacrifice in connectivity options, but hopefully that is about to change.
 

Karlos95

Posts: 110   +33
Take your pick.... although, I have to say Bezos seems like a more "honest" evil... he doesn't really pretend to be a saint like Musk does...
I take Musk as a genuine person. Just a little weird like the rest of us. Jeff is a out right sociopath and really does not care for human life. The way he runs is warehouses in the States is evident.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,184   +5,514
NASA doesn't run space. No one in the US does. If you put unreasonable limits on what US companies can do in space you just push the projects over into other countries. Do it enough and suddenly they lead in space tech.

Space junk is mostly a problem for the future. And mankind is pretty terrible at long term planning so don't expect anyone to put any significant money or effort into dealing with it until it actually becomes a problem.
The same could be said for Human experimentation, cloning, ect.

The US has been extremely Laissez faire towards business over the last 4 decades and the only thing that's done is develop a country mostly controlled by big corporations. Crumbling infrastructure, less than average education, a massive amount of debt, and huge wealth disparity among many other problems. Please tell me at what point does not regulating businesses start helping?

The idea that one must sacrifice all morals and regulations to ensure companies go unimpeded is purely an American invention. One that makes no sense. Companies aren't seeking to innovate, they are looking to maximize profits.


“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."


― John F. Kennedy

Curious about this satellite internet. Does it go down if there are clouds? Is it fast? How does it connect to the network? I’ve used satellite phones before and they were dreadful, I remember having to wade out to sea to get a signal!

I guess I’ve got some googling to do.
Satelite internet is a lot better today then it was 15 years ago. It used to be clouds would greatly hamper your connection. It's a lot less of a concern now and you can get internet just fine during a storm.
 
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