When billionaires have set eyes on the same trophy, but have distinct goals – one setting goals as far as Mars and the other comfortably settling for below the Karman Line. Such is the case with Jeff Bezos, who vying the same prospect as that of SpaceX through his company Amazon and not the rocket company, Blue Origin.
To attain his goals, Bezos has hired a team from SpaceX headed by Rajeev Badyal, former Vice President of satellites on the “Starlink” project of SpaceX; whose services at SpaceX were terminated by founder, Elon Musk back in June last year for being dissatisfied with the progress of the project in question.
Badyal has been reportedly hired at Amazon for the Project Kuiper, which is said to be on the same lines as that of Project Starlink of SpaceX, only at a much smaller scale in comparison to Starlink. The project is expected to launch 3,000 satellites into the low Earth orbit to provide high speed internet access.
Badyal’s Linkedin page is yet to reflect the change in appointment by Amazon, which was neither denied nor accepted by the company, only stating that “We’ve brought together an incredibly smart group of experts from across this industry to lead Project Kuiper.” Badyal’s profile still reflects his appointment at SpaceX in 2014 and that of working in a SpaceX satellite lab in Seattle, which happens to be just 20 miles across from Amazon’s corporate headquarters.
The project Starlink of SpaceX is said to have secured a fresh funding of $500 million from an investor in Tesla; and is estimated by industry experts to cost tens of billions of dollars to reach its completion stage.
Starlink initially planned to launch 4,425 satellites in the low Earth orbit, the number was later raised to 11, 943 satellites after Federal Communications Commission provided the go ahead and added 7, 518 satellites to the previous number.
A few months before Badyal’s dismissal from the job, only 2 satellites had been launched whereas as per the documents of FCC, the project cannot be operational until at least 800 satellites are deployed