Blue Origin gets boost in new rocket agreements

Blue Origin


New contracts inked with major defense companies and transportation giants give a new shot in the arm to Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin company and its Project Kuiper, a plan that aims to launch thousands of satellites in a gambit to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink system.

Akash Sriram for Reuters reports that Blue Origin has signed a contract with the United Launch Alliance representing Boeing and Lockheed Martin for 83 rockets to deliver satellites to space.

That in turn will save costs.

“This approach reduces risk associated with launch vehicle stand-downs and supports competitive long-term pricing for Amazon, producing cost savings that we can pass on to our customers,” Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper at Amazon, said in a press statement.

The French company Arianespace, according to reports, is also contributing.

“The Arianespace deal includes 18 Ariane 6 launches, a contract that Stéphane Israël, chief executive of Arianespace, described in a statement as the largest contract in his company’s history,” writes Jeff Foust at SpaceNews. “Blue Origin is selling 12 New Glenn launches with an option for 15 more. Amazon declined to provide details about the launch agreements, including the number of satellites each vehicle will carry. Beyond Gravity, formerly known as RUAG Space, will build satellite dispensers for the Kuiper satellites at a new facility in Sweden.”

As for stocks, Amazon has rebounded some 20% from local lows March 8, after ‘maturing’ some 350% since 2017.

Boeing, for its part, has come up about $18, over 10%, from the March 8 low, after descending in neat steps since April. Lockheed Martin comes out the biggest recent winner with a spike of around 2.5% since yesterday.

“With a total of 47 launches between our Atlas and Vulcan vehicles, we are proud to launch the majority of this important constellation,” Tory Bruno, chief executive of ULA, said of the new project. “Amazon’s investments in launch infrastructure and capability upgrades will benefit both commercial and government customers.”

Look for more on the “space wars” between two private magnates and their space companies, as both Kuiper and Starlink deploy space hardware.