Amazon to build $120 million processing facility at Kennedy Space Center

by | Jul 21, 2023



  • Amazon is building a $120 million processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for its Kuiper internet satellite project.
  • The facility will prepare and integrate Kuiper satellites with rockets from Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance before launching them into space.
  • The facility’s construction stems from a strategic partnership with Space Florida’s Spaceport Improvement Program, which focuses on enhancing critical spaceport infrastructure.

Amazon is constructing a $120 million processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for its Kuiper internet satellite project. The facility, expected to be completed by late 2024, will be the final stop for Amazon’s Kuiper satellites before they are launched into space.

Early construction plans call for a 100,000 square feet facility that features a 100-foot tall high bay clean room, which will accommodate the payload fairing of heavy-lift rockets like Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan Centaur. The new facility is also estimated to bring approximately 50 specialty jobs to the area.

The Kuiper network aims to provide global broadband internet coverage with 3,200 low Earth-orbiting satellites, directly competing with SpaceX’s Starlink. The satellite-processing facility will play a pivotal role in preparing and integrating Kuiper satellites with rockets from Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance (ULA) before they are launched.

Amazon plans to ship its first batch of satellites for processing at the Florida facility in the second half of 2025. To meet regulatory requirements, the company is aiming to deploy at least half of the Kuiper satellite network into orbit by 2026.

“We have an ambitious plan to begin Project Kuiper’s full-scale production launches and early customer pilots next year, and this new facility will play a critical role in helping us deliver on that timeline,” said Steve Metayer, vice president of Kuiper Production Operations. “We are proud to partner with Space Florida to bolster the growing space industry in Florida and elsewhere across the United States, and we look forward to adding more talent to our skilled operations and manufacturing team. These employees will play an important part in our mission to connect tens of millions of customers worldwide.”

Project Kuiper will begin satellite production at a facility in Kirkland, Washington, by the end of the calendar year, and upon manufacturing completion the Florida facility will be used to receive those satellite shipments, conduct final preparations ahead of launches, connect satellites to custom dispensers, and integrate the loaded dispensers with launch vehicles.

The facility’s construction stems from a strategic partnership with Space Florida’s Spaceport Improvement Program, which focuses on enhancing critical spaceport infrastructure, according to Amazon.

“We are grateful to Governor DeSantis and his administration, as well as our regional partners, for investing in infrastructure, training a highly skilled workforce, and maintaining an economic climate that allows Project Kuiper to advance our mission of providing internet access to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy and community engagement at Amazon.

The facility is also the latest in a series of Amazon investments in the state of Florida. Amazon has secured 77 heavy-lift launch vehicles to deploy its satellite constellation, most of which will be provided by U.S. launch providers Blue Origin and ULA, and launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

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