AWS Unveils New Space Business Segment

Anil Prabha

July 24, 2020

As they say in life, the only constant is change itself. Teresa Carlson, the Vice President Of Worldwide Public Sector at Amazon Web Services recently penned an article on Amazon’s blog regarding AWS’ latest foray into its space business segment.

AWS is introducing a new business segment dedicated to accelerating innovation in the global aerospace and satellite industry. The Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business segment will bring AWS services and solutions to the space enterprise.

The four pronged approach will focus on re-imagining space system architectures, transform space enterprises, launch new services that process space data on Earth and in orbit, provide secure, flexible, scalable and cost-efficient cloud solutions to support government missions and companies advancing space around the world.

AWS has hired Retired Air Force Major General Clint Crosier, former director of Space Force Planning at the U.S. Space Force, as the leader of this new business segment.

Maj. Gen. Crosier has spent the last 33 years driving transformation and mission success across the space enterprise, and led the Defense Department’s efforts to stand up the U.S.’s newest military service.

“We find ourselves in the most exciting time in space since the Apollo missions,” said Maj. Gen. Crosier. “I have watched AWS transform the IT industry over the last 10 years and be instrumental in so many space milestones. I am honored to join AWS to continue to transform the industry and propel the space enterprise forward,” he stated.

Currently, the AWS Ground Station, is a fully managed service that provides satellite owners and operators global access to their space workloads. Customers can down-link data and provide satellite commands across multiple regions with speed and agility, and at a low cost. AWS Ground Station is already being used by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) among others.

Customers around the world use AWS services and solutions for data lakes and storage, edge computing, virtual mission operations, satellite connectivity, image processing, intelligence analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to drive innovation in space-based missions.

Rick Ambrose, Executive Vice President, at Lockheed Martin Space believes that AWS with its background in cloud computing is perfectly positioned to foster collaborations on space missions in the future. This will include U.S. Mars missions, building satellites that handle GPS to weather issues, and other initiatives too.

William Hillman, Head of Geospatial Operations at Geollect also touts AWS’s ability to provide near real-time geospatial maritime intelligence. It can track and analyze the activity of ships and fleets around the world at unthinkable speeds.

According to industry publications, Amazon did announce their new venture called Project Kuiper, that is all about putting thousands of satellites into low earth orbit in order to provide global internet access. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is also working on his privately held space venture, Blue Origin, which is currently building a sub-orbita spaceship called New Shepard, an orbital-class rocket dubbed New Glenn and a lunar lander called Blue Moon.

More importantly, industry observers believe that Kuiper may soon provide satellite resources for cloud services and communication,while Blue Origin will provide the avenue to facilitate the transportation of this hardware into space.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX already has its satellites in orbit for its Starlink broadband data network and of course Microsoft is also working on space-related services with its partners including NASA and SES, which are some of the globe’s top network operators for satellites.

Sources: Amazon, GeekWire, CNBC and TechCrunch.

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About the author
Anil Prabha

Editor In Chief

Anil started his career in journalism all the way back in 2003. After traversing the sphere of editorial, corporate communications and advertising, he has now come full circle and is back in the world of journalism. He believes in the power of the written word, and its ability to enthrall, delight and inform the reader.

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