The news that Amazon has decided to forge forward and build a global, low-latency, high-speed broadband network of 3,236 smallsats in LEO is taking the general and industry press by storm.
This giant retailer is calling this constellation “Project Kuiper.” Kuiper is that area of space beyond the eight planets of our solar system, a distant region of icy objects that orbit beyond Neptune. This area of space contains millions of small, icy bodies that are believed to be the residual material from the formation of the outer planets.
The Kuiper smallsats are projected to occupy a low orbit between 590 km. and 630 km. Such an orbit will enable the small spacecraft to provide better communications latency; however, this altitude will result in a shorter lifespan and more limited coverage per satellite as a result.
An in-depth article regarding this consideration by Amazon is available at the broadband.guru infosite, located at broadband.guru/2019/04/05/now-amazon-plans-3236-strong-satellite-broadband-constellation/,