BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Amazon has chosen NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart for development of a $120 million processing facility for its upcoming community of space-based web satellites often known as Kuiper, in line with Information 6 associate Florida At this time.

The Launch and Touchdown Facility, managed by the state’s aerospace finance and growth authority Area Florida, will host the 100,000-square-foot processing plant situated close to the runway the place house shuttles used to land. It is going to embody a 100-foot excessive bay for integrating the Kuiper web satellites within the payload fairings of United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin rockets earlier than liftoff from close by pads at Cape Canaveral Area Power Station. In whole, it’s anticipated to face simply over 120 toes in peak.

Amazon expects the full funding, together with tools, to run to $120 million and produce 50 new jobs to the Area Coast. Area Florida beforehand referred to this in public paperwork and conferences as “Project Comet.”

“We are proud to continue our investment in Florida and to join the historic Space Coast community as we invest in people and facilities to support Project Kuiper,” Brian Huseman, vice chairman of public coverage and group engagement at Amazon, mentioned in a launch.

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The Kuiper web satellites themselves will likely be inbuilt Kirkland, Washington, earlier than transport to KSC. The brand new facility will then obtain the shipments, put together the satellites, and join them to personalised dispensers that may deploy them in orbit. From there, they’ll be encapsulated within the protecting fairings of ULA’s Vulcan and Blue’s New Glenn rockets.

Amazon has to date secured 83 launches throughout ULA, Blue Origin, and European launcher Arianespace to deploy its constellation. Manufacturing of the satellites is slated to start earlier than the tip of this yr.

Amazon is becoming a member of the equal of a space-based web gold rush. SpaceX has to date launched roughly 5,000 of its Starlink web satellites to low-Earth orbit, whereas OneWeb operates about 650. SpaceX targets all ranges of shoppers from residential to RVs to authorities, whereas OneWeb is extra of an enterprise and maritime web possibility.

Meaning Amazon’s objective of finally launching some 3,200 satellites instantly competes with SpaceX’s Starlink community. The corporate plans on providing three completely different sorts of buyer terminals that will likely be used to obtain space-based broadband. Pricing has not but been introduced, however SpaceX presently prices $120 a month for brand spanking new clients.

“Since the early days of rocket launches and payload processing, decades of infrastructure and capital investment has been made, transforming Florida into a global center for the aerospace economy,” mentioned Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Area Florida. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that Project Kuiper chose Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility for this facility, and we look forward to being a part of their mission of global connectivity.”

The satellite tv for pc processing facility builds on Amazon’s $25 billion funding in Florida since 2010. Founder Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight firm Blue Origin, which is making ready to launch its New Glenn rocket no sooner than late 2023, has additionally spend billions on investments at Launch Advanced 36, a rocket manufacturing facility simply outdoors KSC, and normal infrastructure upgrades.

Contact Emre Kelly at Observe him on Twitter, Fb, and Instagram at @EmreKelly.

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