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AWS establishes a space-focused business unit


Today, Amazon Web Services unveiled a new business unit dedicated to improving the data infrastructure and cloud services for the aerospace and satellite industry – and the U.S. Led by someone who helped set up the space fleet.

“AWS is committed to supporting our customers’ missions, even those outside the Earth’s atmosphere,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at AWS, said during a virtual summit June 30. “The Earth and space-based systems that we build now will inform nearly every decision we make in the years to come. We want to bring all those AWS tools to bear to help our customers succeed in space.”

Clint Crosier, a retired Air Force commander-general who helped establish and provided early guidance to the U.S. Space Force, will lead the division, AWS said.

AWS has previously worked with the public and private sector in the aerospace industry, supporting everything from satellite design to space travel. Aerospace and Satellite Solutions seek to provide a wide range of services to companies in the industry. The unit’s job listings indicate that it wants to provide services to nearly every space sub-sector, including rocket launchers, human spaceflight, robot systems, mission control operations, space stations, satellite networks, and more.

Teresa Carlson announced the unveiling at the AWS Public Sector Online Summit. “AWS is committed to understanding the work of our customers, whether on Earth or in space,” she said.

AWS Ground Station has been developing a network of direct ground stations for satellite communications and a portfolio of clients ranging from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Cabella Space, which provides satellite radar images on demand. Today AWS highlights Cabella’s move to “all-in” its infrastructure, including AWS Ground Station and Ground-based Cloud Services.

Capella CEO Payam Banazadeh said in a news release. “We are redefining what is possible in the satellite industry, and reducing the cost and time required for organizations to benefit from satellite data.” 

AWS said its cloud services could support remote mission operations, secure satellite connectivity, image processing, edge computing, and other space clients’ applications.

As AWS pushes into the aerospace industry, competition with rival Microsoft will increase, and Azure Cloud business has already acquired satellite operators such as Intelsat, Inmarsat, SES, and Viasat as customers. 

Last year, Microsoft Azure bestowed AWS to $ 10 billion for the Pentagon’s flagship corporate Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud services contract. AWS is competing with the sole-source award.

Amazon has steadily increased its presence in the aerospace industry in recent years, most notably through Project Kuiper, an effort to provide high-speed broadband through a galaxy of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, also owns a separate aerospace launch company, Blue Origin, which launches the sub-Shepard rocket and is preparing to launch the orbital New Glen Rocket in 2021.

Akarshan Narang
Akarshan Narang
Covering the world of Cloud at CMI.


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