Cloud computing has already revolutionized all kinds of business and work environments, but one of the industry’s biggest players now hopes it can help accelerate the next big breakthrough in space, too.
At the recent AWS re:Invent 2022 event, the company’s director of aerospace and satellites, Clint Crosier, outlined how the company is strongly supporting the use of cloud computing in space.
In a panel session with Axiom’s astronaut and human spaceflight director, Peggy Whitson, Crosier described, “What we at AWS call making the world a better place through space missions.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is best known for funding multiple space projects through his company Blue Origin, but his former company’s cloud division clearly sees space as the technology’s next big frontier.
AWS recently revealed that it conducted the first positive test of its software suite on a low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite earlier this year. The trial involved successfully downlinking image data from satellites, with software automatically reviewing the images to determine which would be most useful for transmission back to Earth.
Crosier explained that NASA’s recent handover of other LEO activities to private companies such as Blue Origin, which could be a good thing for scientific discovery, and companies such as Whitson’s Axiom taking over “mundane” tasks, will allow NASA to advance to the next level. A task big project.
Acknowledging that he has become a “cloud fanatic” during his tenure at AWS, Crosier outlined how future space activities, such as repairing satellites, asteroid mining, and even space tourism and exploration, will require more computing power and faster The processing speed and power that the cloud can help provide.
“What the cloud allows you to do is create the infrastructure, tinker[with it]to come up with the best design … and then click two or three buttons to upload it to the ISS — it’s a game changer,” he pointed out.
“What really excites me in terms of technological applications is that it seems like every year we figure out a new way to use a capability in space that we didn’t know existed before and that actually improves lives and in some cases saves lives… .
“In the same way that Earth benefits from terrestrial clouds … all the new missions we see in space will require the same advanced cloud-based technology,” he said, “so our goal at AWS is to It goes where the customer needs it.”