- Amazon is preparing to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites to provide high-speed broadband to remote parts of the world.
- According to CNBC, Amazon hired a former SpaceX exec who headed up a similar project at Elon Musk’s company.
- Rajeev Badyal was SpaceX’s VP of Satellites before reportedly being fired in June.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Amazon is preparing to launch its new constellation of satellites with the help of former SpaceX staff, CNBC reports.
Last week Geekwire spotted Amazon’s ambitious new project to bring high-speed broadband to remote parts of the globe in multiple public filings.
The plans to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites is called “Project Kuiper,” and was confirmed to Business Insider in an email from Amazon last week.
Now new details have emerged, as sources told CNBC that the project is being headed up by a former SpaceX exec Rajeev Badyal. Badyal was formerly SpaceX’s VP of Satellites, in charge of its Starlink division. The same sources said a “couple members” of Badyal’s team from SpaceX had joined him at Amazon.
Starlink’s stated ambition is similar to Amazon’s Project Kuiper, but on a larger scale. It proposes to launch 11,925 satellites into orbit in order to provide global high-speed internet. Two experimental Starlink satellites were launched in February.
Badyal was reportedly fired in June 2018 after CEO Elon Musk became frustrated with the pace of development at Starlink. “Rajeev wanted three more iterations of test satellites,” a source told Business Insider in October, adding that Musk thought the company could get the job done “with cheaper and simpler satellites, sooner.”
An Amazon spokesman told Business Insider:
“As a matter of company policy we don’t comment on personnel. We’ve brought together an incredibly smart group of experts from across this industry to lead Project Kuiper”
SpaceX declined to comment.