Cloud computing has revolutionized all kinds of work environments and workplaces, but one of the biggest players in the industry is now hoping it will help accelerate the next big breakthroughs in the space, too.
Speaking at AWS re:Invent 2022, Clint Crosier, director of the company’s Aeronautics and Satellite division, explained how the company is heavily supporting the use of cloud computing in space.
In a panel discussion alongside Peggy Whitson, astronaut and director of human spaceflight at Axiom, Crosier described, “What we at AWS call making the world a better place than the space mission.”
The race for space
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been known to fund several space-related projects through his company Blue Origin, but the cloud arm of his former company clearly sees space as the next big frontier for technology.
AWS recently revealed that it conducted a positive test of its software suite on a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite for the first time earlier this year. The experiment involved successful downlinks of image data from the satellite, with the software automatically reviewing the images to determine which were most useful to send back to Earth.
Crosier explained that NASA’s recent handover of other LEO activity to private companies like Blue Origin could be a good thing for scientific discovery, with companies like Whitson Axiom taking on the “ordinary” tasks that will allow NASA to move forward into the next phase. big project.
Crosier, who admitted to becoming a “cloud fanatic” during his time at AWS, explained how future space activities such as satellite repair, asteroid mining, and even space tourism and exploration will all require greater computing capabilities, as well as greater processing speed and power. that the cloud can help provide.
“What the cloud allows you to do is create infrastructure, tinker (with it) to come up with perfect designs… and then with two or three clicks of a button, you can upload it to the International Space Station — that’s a game-changer,” he says.
“The really exciting thing for me about the application of technology is that it seems like every year we come up with a new way of using space capability that we didn’t know before that improves people’s lives and, in some cases, saves lives… I love that the advanced technical capabilities of the cloud support this. The mission is to do it faster and more effectively than ever before.”
“Just as Earth has benefited from the terrestrial cloud…all of the new missions we see emerging in space will require the same advanced cloud-based technology, so our goal at AWS is to drive that to wherever customers need it,” he said.