Amazon and SpaceX win NASA’s $278 million space communications contract

NASA on Wednesday awarded $278.5 million in contractual agreements to Amazon’s satellite company, SpaceX’s Starlink network and other satellite companies to illustrate communications in space.

NASA is increasingly trying to rely on private space agencies for its operational processes and plans to trigger more commercial transactions in areas ranging from space communications to spaceflight.

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Amazon’s Project Kuiper, a network of more than 3,000 satellites designed to provide high-speed broadband internet to remote areas, received $67 million, while SpaceX’s Starlink venture, a larger satellite internet network of more than 2,000 satellites now in orbit. his, received $70 million.

NASA’s current system, known as the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network, is used to communicate with spacecraft in orbit, such as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which carries astronauts to and from the International Space Station. .

“The goal is to get the industry to work with us and create these capabilities for users other than NASA.” Eli Naffah, explained the head of NASA’s Communications Services Project. Under contract, each company is expected to complete satellite development and demos by 2025.

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Although Starlink is still in development, it already has thousands of people in a number of countries. Further behind schedule, Amazon plans to introduce its first 2 prototype satellites in 2022.

COVER IMAGE: NASA

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