Jun 10, 2021 - Science

Exclusive: Amazon Web Services picks 10 startups for space program

The glint of the Sun shining off the Tasman sea seen from space

Photo: NASA

Companies planning to build robots to explore the Moon and track junk in space are among the 10 startups chosen for an Amazon Web Services' program designed to help mature their businesses.

Why it matters: This latest venture is part of Amazon's play to become even more involved with the space industry, helping to support customers as their satellites beam huge amounts of data back from orbit.

What's happening: The 10 companies picked will take part in a four week business accelerator designed to highlight AWS' offerings for space companies, including instruction on how best to make huge amounts of data usable for customers quickly using cloud computing.

  • "As a result of this workshop, not only do we want to teach these 10 companies how they can go and build a successful space mission on the cloud, but we absolutely will use it to educate the rest of the community," Clint Crosier, the director of AWS' aerospace and satellite business told Axios.
  • The investment firm Seraphim will also offer business advice to the companies participating in the accelerator.

The companies: Cognitive Space is focusing on helping with satellite constellation management.

  • D-Orbit is working to help with situational awareness in space for satellites and aid companies as their satellites reach the ends of their lives.
  • Descartes Labs focuses on using geospatial data from space to suggest sustainable practices in agriculture and other industries.
  • Edgybees is working to use help first responders know how best to help during disasters.
  • Hawkeye 360 collects radio frequency signals and analyzes them to monitor the seas, tracking illegal fishing and other security issues.
  • LeoLabs is able to track debris in low-Earth orbit using ground-based radars and analytics.
  • Lunar Outpost plans to build robots that could be sent to the Moon and Mars to aid in human exploration.
  • Orbital Sidekick is working on tracking changes due to deforestation, pollution or other environmental concerns happening on Earth from space using satellite data.
  • Satellite VU wants to aid in the fight against climate change by keeping an eye from space on the temperatures of buildings around the Earth.
  • Ursa Space hopes to use its collection of geospatial intelligence and Earth observation data to give customers quick analysis they can use immediately.
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