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Manufacturing

Alabama-assembled ULA rocket powers first Amazon satellites into orbit

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with deep Alabama roots lifted off from Cape Canaveral days ago on a milestone mission that sets the stage for ULA rockets to deploy satellites for an ambitious Amazon broad network.

The Atlas V 501 rocket blasting off last Friday launched the Protoflight mission for Amazon’s Project Kuiper, a low Earth orbit satellite network that will provide fast, affordable internet service to under-resourced communities around the world.

ULA’s factory in Decatur played a key role in the successful mission, which delivered the two satellites to orbit 311 miles above Earth.

Workers at the Alabama facility handled final assembly of the Atlas V and fabricated its booster, as well as producing the rocket’s Centaur second stage. Partner Beyond Gravity, located on the ULA campus, fabricated the 5-meter payload fairing that encased the satellites as the rocket’s nose cone.

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