Amazon closer to launching satellites, upping internet reach

Amazon is one step closer to space

NEW YORK -- Amazon.com is one step closer to space.

The company received government approval to put more than 3,200 satellites into orbit with the goal of beaming internet service to earth.

Amazon said it will spend $10 billion on the initiative, called Project Kuiper. It's opening a research facility in Redmond, Washington, where the satellites will be designed and tested.

That would be about twice the profit that the Seattle company made in its most recent three-month financial reporting period.

Space is a major focus of Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man. He privately owns a space exploration company and has spoken of, at some point in the distant future, the potential of relocating manufacturing and other heavy industries to space, keeping the resulting emissions out of the earth's atmosphere.

Amazon didn't say when it expects to have Project Kuiper operating, but the Federal Communications Commission, which approved the initiative on Thursday, said half of its satellites must be in orbit by July 2026.