Enlarge / Artist’s illustration of Amazon’s Kuiper satellite processing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (credit: Amazon)

Within a few years, Amazon hopes to be building and launching up to 80 satellites per month to populate the company’s Kuiper constellation, a $10 billion network that is similar to fleets already operated by SpaceX and OneWeb providing Internet connectivity around the world.

In the next six months, Amazon plans to begin production of operational Kuiper satellites at a new 172,000-square-foot factory in Kirkland, Washington. On Friday, officials from Amazon and the Florida government announced that a 100,000-square-foot facility under construction at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will serve as a satellite processing facility dedicated to the Kuiper program.

Inside this facility near the old space shuttle landing strip, engineers will mount Kuiper satellites onto huge orbital deployer mechanisms standing several stories tall, then encapsulate the structure inside the nose cones of their rockets. The fully integrated payload compartments will then move out to launch pads operated by United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin—the space company established by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, a few miles away.

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