Earth as seen from orbit. Photo: NASA

Amazon Web Services announced last week it is forming a business division focused on helping government and commercial space entities become more agile and flexible by making use of the cloud.

The big picture: The new division — called the Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business segment — further solidifies Amazon's push into the space sector.

What's happening: AWS' Aerospace and Satellite Solutions will work with space companies to find more efficient ways of going about their everyday work.

  • For space companies, cloud services could allow for shortcuts in analyzing the extreme quantities of data beamed back from space each day.
  • AWS hopes the new division will help companies and governments move faster when it comes to finding new ways to use space-based assets and applications using machine learning and other tools.
  • "The Earth and space-based systems that we build now will inform nearly every decision we make in the years to come," Teresa Carlson, AWS vice president, said during a keynote address.
  • Companies like Capella Space, Maxar and Lockheed Martin are partnering with AWS.

Yes, but: Amazon isn't alone in trying to capture this market in the space industry.

  • Microsoft is also courting space companies looking to use cloud-based services.
  • Microsoft Azure beat out Amazon last year for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract.

The big picture: In recent years, Amazon has launched AWS' Ground Station, which focuses on providing space companies with ground station bandwidth to bring data back from orbit and analyze it quickly.

  • Amazon is also developing Project Kuiper, a constellation of internet-beaming satellites expected to potentially rival SpaceX's Starlink.

Go deeper

Aug 4, 2020 - Science

Amazon's Project Kuiper moves ahead

Earth seen from space. Photo: NASA

The FCC has given conditional approval for Amazon to move ahead with its plan to launch thousands of internet-beaming satellites to low-Earth orbit.

The big picture: Multiple companies, including SpaceX, see the potential to make millions of dollars in revenue once their constellations are fully deployed.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.

Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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NOAA warns of potential for "extremely active" Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in Garden City, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters warned Thursday of the potential for an "extremely active" hurricane season in the Atlantic.

The big picture: The agency expects 19 to 25 named storms — with three to six major hurricanes — during the six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. The average season produces only 12 named storms.