Cloud computing has revolutionized all types of business and workplace environments, but one of the industry’s biggest players is now hoping it can also help accelerate the next big breakthroughs in space.
Clint Crosier, the company’s Director of Aerospace and Satellite, explained how strongly the company supports the use of cloud computing in space at the recent AWS re:Invent 2022 event.
At a panel discussion with Peggy Whitson, astronaut and director of human spaceflight at Axiom, Crosier described “what we at AWS call the Make the World a Better Place mission.”
The Space Race
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has famously funded several space-related projects through his company Blue Origin, but his former company’s cloud arm clearly sees space as the next big frontier for the technology.
AWS recently announced that it had performed a positive test of its software suite on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite for the first time earlier this year. The trial involved successful downlinks of imagery from the satellite, with the software automatically reviewing the images to decide which were most helpful for sending back to Earth.
Crosier explained that NASA’s recent handover of other LEO activities to private companies like Blue Origin could be a good thing for scientific discovery, as companies like Whitson’s Axiom take on “everyday” tasks that allow NASA to move on to the next big project.
Crosier, who admitted he’s become a “cloud fanatic” during his time at AWS, outlined how future space activities like satellite repair, asteroid mining, and even space tourism and exploration all require more computing power, as well as more processing speed and speed become energy that the cloud can provide.
“With the cloud, you can build infrastructure, tinker with it to come up with optimal designs… and then you can upload it to the ISS with two or three clicks — it’s a game changer,” he noted.
“What really excites me about the application of technology is that every year we seem to find a new way to harness space capabilities that we didn’t previously know actually improve lives and, in some cases, save lives. I love that the advanced technical capabilities of the cloud support this mission to do this faster and more effectively than ever before.”
“Just as Earth has benefited from the terrestrial cloud…any new missions that we see emerging in space will require the same advanced cloud-based technology,” he said, “so our goal at AWS is to push that where customers are.” to need.”