An unnamed space company may have picked up a code name with Seattle connotations during negotiations for a satellite factory in Florida, but that doesn’t mean it’s associated with Amazon.
Amazon says its Project Kuiper broadband satellite mega-constellation isn’t “Project Kraken,” the mystery company that’s negotiating a business development deal with Space Florida.
Project Kraken’s existence came to light on Wednesday during a meeting of Space Florida’s board of directors. Florida Politics reports that the code-named company is looking at Space Florida’s properties in the Cape Canaveral area as a potential site for a $300 million satellite factory that could create 2,000 jobs in Brevard County.
Space Florida’s president, Frank DiBello, was quoted as saying that other states are competing with Florida for the factory. Negotiations could involve offers of lease deals, financing support and matching-fund grants from the Florida Department of Transportation.
It wasn’t long before speculation focused on Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which would have to build 3,200 satellites for its planned broadband data constellation in the years ahead. The fact that Seattle’s newly granted hockey franchise is called the Kraken added to the buzz. Later this year, the Kraken are due to open their inaugural season at Climate Pledge Arena, which got its name as part of a sponsorship deal with Amazon.
Today, Amazon’s Project Kuiper — which only recently moved into its headquarters and development facility in Redmond, Wash. — answered GeekWire’s inquiry with a quick email denying the Kraken connection.
There are plenty of other mega-constellation creatures out there, however: OneWeb Satellites already has a factory on Florida’s Space Coast, but this week brought the unveiling of a new satellite venture called CurvaNet. Project Kraken might also be any of several current contenders in the mega-constellation race, ranging from SpaceX Starlink (which already has a satellite factory in Redmond) to Telesat (and its satellite manufacturing partner, Thales Alenia Space) or AST & Science (which is getting ready for a SPAC merger).