Amazon Web Services pushed further into the space business Tuesday with the launch of its Aerospace and Satellite Solutions division.
Headed by retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Clint Crosier, the former director of planning for the U.S. Space Force, the new division represents a major investment in the sector, which is embracing modernized, cloud-based IT as NASA pushes to bring humans back to the moon by 2024 and the military organizes its newest, space-focused branch.
“We find ourselves in the most exciting time in space since the Apollo missions,” Crosier said in a statement. “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.”
The launch comes nearly two years since AWS introduced its Ground Station — a fully managed service to allow customers to use the cloud to more easily connect to orbiting satellites and downlink and process their space data.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is one federal customer using Ground Station. Many commercial companies, including Lockheed Martin Space and Maxar Technologies, also have called on AWS to support things like automated data collection and analysis, image processing and more. Capella Space announced Tuesday it will run its entire IT infrastructure on AWS to automate
and scale its operations, including command and control of its satellites with Ground Station.
Cloud services like AWS’s reduce the need for capital investment in satellite-ground infrastructure systems as commercial and government partners look to improve how they process and transform massive collections of data from space.
“The Earth- and space-based systems we build now will inform nearly every decision we make in the years to come,” Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector for AWS, said during her opening keynote Tuesday at AWS’s Public Sector Summit. “We want to bring all those AWS tools to bear to help our customers succeed in space.”