AWS announces new cloud unit to bolster data capability in the space segment

AWS announces new cloud unit to bolster data capability in the space segment
Photo Credit: Reuters
1 Jul, 2020

Cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services (AWS) has strengthened its aerospace business capabilities with the introduction of a new unit dedicated to space projects.

Called the Aerospace and Satellite Solutions, the unit will bring the cloud platform’s services to the space enterprise, a statement said. The company onboarded retired Air Force Major General Clint Crosier, former director of Space Force Planning at the US Space Force, to head the business segment.

According to AWS, the unit will provide secure, scalable, and cost-efficient cloud solutions to support government missions and companies advancing space around the globe. 

The company also announced that Capella Space, which provides on-demand Earth observation data via satellite-based radar, has gone all-in with AWS. The San Francisco, California based company will use the cloud solutions to run its entire information technology (IT)  infrastructure, automate and scale its operations, including satellite command and control.

Capella uses AWS’ services to provide its customers with access to satellite data within minutes of its capture – far faster than traditional satellite data delivery services, which can take up to 24 hours – and at a lower cost, according to a joint press statement. 

“By removing the need for organizations to build and maintain their own ground stations, AWS is putting the power of satellite data into the hands of more customers in order to derive insights that potentially can improve our understanding of space and life on Earth,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector at AWS said.

The new unit is expected to help AWS score government projects. Last year, its rival Microsoft Azure had edged it out of a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract. AWS is a subsidiary of Seattle based ecommerce giant Amazon.

Last April, Amazon said it is working on Project Kuiper, a venture for global internet access. The project aims to put a network of satellites into low Earth orbit. Separately, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a private space venture called Blue Origin